An individual who is out of work in New Jersey may qualify for unemployment insurance benefits through the state government. The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Unemployment Compensation Office is responsible for processing benefit requests and determining whether a former employee is eligible to receive benefits.

In order to be eligible for benefits a claimant must have worked for a specific period of time and earned a certain minimum salary, as determined by the Unemployment Compensation Law, prior to their separation from employment. The claimant’s separation from employment must have been through no fault of their own; however, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If an employee is fired for misconduct that corresponds with one of the three categories of misconduct under the law, then the claimant is not entitled to benefits. In order to maintain their eligibility for benefits a claimant must, among other things, actively seek employment and regularly claim benefits.

If the Department determines that a claimant is ineligible for unemployment benefits, then the claimant may file an appeal of the determination to the Appeal Tribunal. The claimant’s appeal will be heard at a hearing before an Appeals Examiner. Both the claimant and the former employer are permitted to participate in the hearing. Both parties are permitted to examine witnesses, and to be represented by counsel. A claimant must be well prepared with evidence and witnesses to support their claim at the hearing.