The New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) has just announced that unemployed workers in New Jersey will receive a new level of federally funded extended unemployment insurance benefits. This new level raises the maximum number of payable weeks on an extended benefit claim, from 13 to 20. The NJDOL announced that these additional extended benefits went into effect the week beginning May 3, 2009. The increase occurred because the state’s three-month average unemployment rate met or exceeded eight percent. These extended unemployment benefits will remain in effect in New Jersey for a minimum of 13 weeks, at which time the three-month average unemployment rate will be recalculated.

Extended benefits apply to eligible job seekers who have exhausted both their regular unemployment insurance benefits and any federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Individuals who have already begun collecting extended benefits will have their extended benefits claims increased to a maximum of 20 weeks or 80 percent of their initial claim (whichever is less). Claimants who exhausted their extended benefits during the week ending May 2, 2009 or earlier will have their extended benefits claims reactivated.