Unemployment insurance in the U.S is a federal-state program which offers weekly monetary compensation to jobless workers for up to 26 weeks. The WBA (Weekly Benefit Amount) is determined on the basis of the wages earned in the last 4-5 calendar quarters and is a part of the average salary earned. Millions of unemployed workers who lost their job due to involuntary reasons such as layoffs have been immensely benefited by this program in meeting basic expenditure until they find a job.
The “dole” as popularly known is open to every unemployed claimant. It is approved on the basis of satisfying multiple eligibility criteria, the most important being the reason for separation from the job. As stated earlier, workers who lose their job due to involuntary reasons qualify to receive unemployment insurance. Reasons such as downsizing, layoffs due to various reasons, company shutdown, reduction in the standard hours worked due to lack of demand are some of the most commonly accepted reasons, since it’s not the claimant’s fault.
The sections below aim to detail the circumstances under which unemployment compensation is denied and steps on how you can work it in your favor.
Unemployment Compensation Denial
When you make your first claim after being unemployed over the phone or on the internet, the claims team at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey process your claim and vet it against various conditions and make a decision to deny or approve the claim. If approved, you can continue applying for weekly claims as per the schedule to and get the payment. If denied, you would be mailed a letter by the department stating the grounds for denial and the options available further such as appealing the decision made.
On the basis of the merits of the case and if you feel the claim was wrongfully denied, you can contact the Appeal Tribunal. It’s your right to file an appeal in response to rejection of compensation.
Common Reasons for Denial
Resigning from job
If you resigned from the job voluntarily, the claim will be a straightforward reject. The cornerstone of offering these benefits is to monetarily compensate the job loss until a new one is found.
Fired due to misconduct/underperformance
Issues such as under performance or behavioral issues can also be held against you by the employer when you apply, resulting in denial since it can hamper the standard business operations of the company. Being fired for attending work under the influence of alcohol/drugs, threatening co-workers or supervisors are not acceptable.
Eligibility conditions not met
Criteria such as minimum income requirement or continuity in employment during the base period (last 12 calendar quarters) is important. If the claim does not pass through these conditions, compensation will be denied. Therefore, it’s important to understand the prevailing eligibility conditions in New Jersey before applying for benefits.
Appealing an unemployment denial in New Jersey
The Appeal Tribunal is the first level of appeal within the department, responsible for hearing disputes relating to unemployment compensation and settling them amicably. As per applicable rules in the Unemployment Compensation Law and Temporary Disability Law of New Jersey, it’s the right of every claimant to appeal the determination of non-entitlement of benefits.
- The appeal can be filed in two ways. You can visit the nearest Unemployment Office in your locality and file within 10 days from the determination date.
- Else, you can also send a mail to the address provided within 7 days from the receipt of the determination letter.
- The appeal accompanied by relevant documents can also be faxed to the number provided in the last section of this article.
- If you’re filing the appeals by mail, it should contain the SSS of the claimant, reference to the determination being appealed along with an explanation of the grounds for doing so.
- If there is a delay in filing the appeal, an explanation letter citing the reason should be provided. The Appellate Tribunal has the right to dismiss appeals received late without a good cause.
- On the basis of the incoming paperwork and schedule of the office, the Appeals Examiner will conduct a hearing at the designated office with all the parties involved.
- In case of compelling situations, the Examiner may decide to summon the parties and the witnesses over the phone to conduct a telephone hearing.
Points to remember
- You may be required to continue to file weekly claims during the dispute period. If the dispute is settled in your favor, claims will be settled retrospectively. Make sure to inquire about filing weekly claims at the time of filing the appeal.
- You can seek a legal counsel at your expense. Free legal counsel services are also provided from the community.
- Be sure to know the hearing dates and attend them promptly since failure to do so can result in decision going against the claimant.
- If not satisfied with the outcome, the claimant has the right to further appeal, to be filed within 20 days from the date of decision.
Fax: (609) 292-2438