(TRENTON) – In an effort to help out-of-work residents who have exhausted their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits amid the current economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a bill to make certain workers eligible for extended unemployment benefits was approved Thursday by the Assembly Labor Committee.
Under the current law, an individual who exhausts regular UI benefits may then qualify for extended UI benefits if the wages they were paid during their base year – which are used to calculate their benefits – are 40 times their weekly benefit rate.
The measure (A-4852), sponsored by Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex), would provide that a person would be eligible for the UI benefits if, during the base year, they were paid wages 40 times their weekly benefit rate, or they were either paid wages 1½ times their compensation during the calendar quarter in which their wages were highest, or had twenty full-time weeks of employment.
Assemblywoman Lopez released the following statement on the bill:
“Between State and federal unemployment insurance extensions, many claimants will receive benefits for a maximum of 59 weeks. However, it’s difficult to predict what New Jersey’s economy will look like over the next few months, and some workers may understandably have difficulty finding a new job.
“Uncertain times call for comprehensive, innovative measures. Extending unemployment benefits for eligible workers will help those who are out of work get through these challenging times.”