TRENTON – Almost 400,000 New Jersey residents currently collecting unemployment will see their benefits run out sooner than they expected.
Since Congress did not vote to extend the federally-funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, unemployed workers will no longer be able to qualify for additional weeks of benefits under the program.
Unemployed workers will still be able to collect regular unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks and can qualify for up to 20 additional weeks of extended benefits, but will no longer be able to qualify for the federal program that extended unemployment for up to a total of 99 weeks.
Workers currently collecting from the EUC program will continue to receive benefits from their current tier, but will not be able to enter a new one.
“All New Jersey claimants presently collecting any of the four tiers of the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) provided under the law that sunsets on November 30, will continue to receive benefits,” said state labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths.
When their EUC benefits run out, workers will still be eligible for up to 20 weeks of unemployment compensation under the Extended Benefits program. Under the expired law, the federal unemployment program was fully funding this compensation; now New Jersey’s cash-strapped unemployment insurance fund will be splitting the cost with the federal program.
New Jersey’s unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in October, down from a recessionary high of 10 percent in December 2009
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