The NJ has now distributed more than $ 28 billion in unemployment benefits, according to the Department of Labor
13,389 new unemployment files were received by the State Department of Labor for the week of May 7, the ministry said Thursday.
This is a decrease of 4% from the previous week, and the first time that new deposits have fallen in three weeks. Unemployment benefit claims have exceeded 2,165,000 since last March, when the coronavirus pandemic led to massive layoffs.
While the number of residents seeking unemployment benefits remains higher than usual, it represents about a quarter of claims filed for the same week in 2020.
Over 260,000 applications have been reopened with the Department of Labor, which means the applicant opens their application after returning to work for a period of time in the past year.
The state is also automating year-end benefit reviews, which are federally mandated audits of claims that have been open for a year. New Jersey is the only state to automate the process, speeding up what would have been manual, said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
New Jersey claimants faced several hurdles in certifying their benefits and receiving benefits, sometimes waiting more than a year to hear the Department of Labor for a response on a complex claim. A group of claimants were mistakenly excluded when the state triggered high extended benefits, leaving people confused as to the status of their claim if it appears to be “expired” or with an “unpayable week”.
The Ministry of Labor said the issue was resolved and most people who still have certification issues have overlapping issues and need to be addressed individually. And every week, thousands of requesters answer a question incorrectly, resulting in a surge of requests for further consideration.
The average claimant receives $ 18,400, the Department of Labor said. And the state has distributed more than $ 28.1 billion since March 2020.
As part of the US bailout, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Emergency Pandemic Unemployment Compensation are extended until September 4, which also includes the additional weekly check of $ 300 to all applicants.
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