TRENTON – Legislation to bring New Jersey’s unemployment benefit system in line with 21st century technology and help out-of-work residents more easily manage their benefits is now law.
Under the measure, claimants may access unemployment insurance claims on a website developed by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
“It’s incredibly hard to reach the department by phone,” said Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-Middlesex). “Callers often get a recording instructing them to call later due to long wait times. On occasions when they do get through, they are subjected to lengthy hold times, and when they do manage to speak to an actual person, it is only to schedule a call with a representative for weeks later. This change will help ease that frustration and bring residents needing help a modern system.”
The website has allowed claimants to file for benefits online only during business hours. It also restricts which days specific claimants can file claims. Meanwhile, many other states have UI Web sites that are accessible 24/7 without restrictions as to what hours or days claimants can file their claims online or close out claims.
The law takes effect in 120 days.
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