(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 received final legislative approval on Monday, passing the full Assembly 74-0 and Senate 39-0. The measure now goes to the Governor’s desk.
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) would provide that a person would be eligible for extended UI benefits either because they had qualified for regular UI benefits or they attained the current requirement of being paid wages 40 times the individual’s weekly benefit rate, instead of being required to meet both qualifications, as required in the current law.
The legislation would apply to claims filed after June 27, 2020.
Sponsors of the bill, Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex), Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) released the following statement:
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge in New Jersey with no clear end in sight, we must do everything in our power to bolster our unemployment program and help unemployed workers through this difficult time. Uncertain times calls for innovative measures and extending unemployment benefits for eligible workers under this bill will certainly help bridge the gap for workers to find new employment opportunities.”