Last night President Obama signed a bill into law that extends the end date for Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits. This comes as jobless benefits ran out for over 400,000 Americans on February 27, 2010. The new law will provide one more month of unemployment benefits and will also extend COBRA benefits for jobless Americans.
If you are collecting EUC unemployment benefits in New Jersey, here’s what you should expect: Before this new law, you needed to have completed one EUC tier level before February 27, 2010 in order to qualify for the next tier. For example, you needed to have exhausted EUC Tier III before February 27, 2010 to qualify for EUC Tier IV. You now have an extra month to qualify for moving on to the next tier. All EUC benefits are now scheduled to end on July 31, 2010 by federal law, unless legislation is passed to amend this date.
If you qualify for these additional benefits, you will not need to file a new claim. You will receive a letter in the mail from NJ Department of Labor informing you of your qualification and instructions on how to continue filing. If you do not receive a letter and you believe this is an error, contact your nearest re-employment center. It is best to go in person rather than making a phone call because many re-employment centers do not have voice mail or transfer capabilities. Also, the volume of calls is so high, you may continuously get a recorded message asking to you to call back later.
Once your EUC tier benefits run out, you move on to what is called Extended Benefits or EB. EB provides up to 20 additional weeks of unemployment to states with higher jobless rates, like New Jersey. Unlike with EUC benefits, people collecting EB will need to show proof of looking for employment every time they file a claim. Failure to show adequate proof could result in delayed or denied benefits.
If you are unemployed in New Jersey and enrolled in a state approved training program, you may qualify for Additional Benefits during Training or ABT and maybe even a tuition waiver to help pay for schooling. Contact your nearest re-employment center to find out more about ABT and tuition waivers or read my article here on Associated Content.
Faler, Brian Obama Signs Extension of Unemployment Benefits, Bloomberg.com March 3, 2010
Budd, Jennifer, Explaining the Confusion With New Jersey Extended Unemployment Benefits, Associated Content, December 2, 2009
New Jersey Department of Labor website