Division of Unemployment Insurance URL reading ( My Unemployment . NJ . Gov )

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We may use words and phrases in our applications, forms, and notices that you may not be familiar with, or that have a different definition in the context of our program. Here's what they mean.


Alternate base year periods
A period of time that may be used to determine the Unemployment Insurance benefit amount you may be eligible to, if you do not qualify using the regular base period.

Appeal Tribunal
The Appeal Tribunal decides initial disputes about eligibility for unemployment (and some temporary disability) insurance benefits.  If, after you file a claim for UI benefits, you or your employer disagrees with the determination of your eligibility for benefits, you and your employer have the right to file an appeal to the Appeal Tribunal.

Average weekly wage
The total wages earned in your base period, divided by the number of base weeks you worked.


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Base period
The base period is the timeframe used to determine if you qualify for UI benefits and to calculate your benefit amount.  

Base week
A base week is used to calculate the unemployment insurance benefits you may be entitled to. The base week amount is 20 times the state hourly minimum wage from the prior calendar year. For the most current rates, click here.

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Certify for benefits
The weekly or biweekly process of letting us know that you are still unemployed and are actively seeking work, and continue to meet all other requirements for claiming unemployment insurance benefits.  You may certify for benefits online or by phone.

An unemployed worker who has filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits.

Claims examiner
A member of our unemployment insurance staff who determines your eligibility for benefits based on available information. A claims examiner will contact you to clarify wages or other matters that could affect your eligibility.

Corporate Officer
If you are an officer of a corporation, or you own more than a 5% equitable or debt interest in the corporation, and your unemployment claim is based on wages with the corporation, you will not be considered unemployed during your term of office or ownership. Since you are not considered unemployed, your claim will be held invalid and you will not receive benefit payments.

Covered employment
Wages paid by an employer to an employee on which the employer is required to pay unemployment insurance tax in accordance with Unemployment Insurance Law.  Wages paid to employees in covered employment are used as a basis in establishing an unemployment insurance benefit.


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Date of claim
The Sunday at the start of the week in which you file your initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits is your date of claim.  Unemployment Insurance benefits are paid for a 7-day week beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday.

An unemployed spouse or civil union partner, or an unemployed, unmarried child under the age of 19 (22 if the child is still in school).

Dependency benefits
Additional benefits you may be eligible for, if you meet the eligibility requirements for this benefit.  Dependency benefits may increase your basic weekly benefit by 7% for your first dependent, and an additional 4% for each of the next 2 dependents up to the maximum weekly benefit rate.

A decision about whether you are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

Direct deposit
One of two ways you can choose to receive your UI benefit payments.  With direct deposit, the money will go directly into a bank account you authorize.

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If we have questions about your claim, we will contact you by email with a link to a questionnaire to gather additional information.

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Fact-finding interview
If we have questions about your claim, we will contact you by phone, email or mail to gather additional information.

Claiming or accepting unemployment insurance benefits illegally.  Fraud is a crime and will be prosecuted.

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Gross earnings
The total amount paid to a worker, before any taxes or deductions are taken out.

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Initial claim
A first-time application for unemployment insurance benefits.  An initial claim establishes a benefit year.

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Maximum benefit amount
For the current maximum weekly benefit amount, click here.

Monetary review
A telephone interview to gather information about your earnings in your base year.

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Non-professional school employee
Any employee of the school who is supportive to the educational process.  This includes custodians, janitors, cafeteria workers, clerical staff, bus drivers, security personnel, teacher's aides and any paraprofessional employee.


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Partial benefits
If you have been working full time, and your hours have been reduced, you may qualify for partial unemployment insurance benefits.  You will not be required to search for work but you are required to work all available hours for your employer.  If you are employed only part-time, you will be required to search for full-time work.

A word, number and character you create to access your account at nj.gov/labor/ui.  Your password must be at least 8 characters long and include at least one numeral, one upppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and at least one of the following special characters: !  @  #  $  %.  Your password protects your personal information; do not give your password to anyone else.

Personal identification number
A 4-digit number you create when you certify for benefits for the first time.  You must use your PIN every time you certify for benefits.

Prepaid debit card
After your claim is approved and you cerfity for benefits, and you haven't opted for direct deposit, you'll receive the funds on a prepaid debit card.

Professional school employee
A school employee who performs work in an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity (such as a teacher, principal, registrar, etc.).

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Regular base year period
The first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters before the week you file an initial claim.  Also called a "base period" or "regular base period."

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Suitable job
Because each person is not the same and has different circumstances, the definition of a "Suitable Job" is fitted to each person, depending on where he or she lives, his or her skills, experience and past salary. While you are unemployed, you will look for a job similar to your last job (distance traveled, job duties and salary). As you remain unemployed, you will be expected to revise your minimum job requirements. For example, you may have to travel a greater distance, accept a different type of job or accept a lower starting salary.

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User name
An email address you use to access your unemployment insurance claim at nj.gov/labor/ui.

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Weekly benefit rate
The unemployment insurance benefit rate you are eligible for, which 60% of your average weekly wage, up to the annual maximum. For current rates, click here.

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