(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 Appropriations 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) 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.
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 law will certainly help bridge the gap for workers to find new employment opportunities.”