New Jersey residents who are denied unemployment compensation benefits have a right to appeal the decisions to the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL) and Workforce Development (DLWD). Initially, the New Jersey DOL determines whether applicants are eligible for unemployment benefits and will issue a Notice of Determination to applicants whose claims are denied.
New Jersey applicants must have earned at least $8,300 during the base period of 12 months or have worked for at least 20 weeks, earning at least $165 a week. They must also have been out of work through no fault of their own. Also, for every week that an applicant claims benefits, he or she must be physically, mentally and legally able to work.
Applicants must additionally be actively seeking work and willing to accept suitable job offers. The DOL will consider an applicant to be actively seeking work if they have at least three employer contacts per week, including in person or over the phone contact as well as sending resumes. When deciding what constitutes a suitable offer, the applicant’s last job, job duties, distance from home and salary will be considered.
Reasons for Denial
If the DOL finds that an employee quit without good cause, that employee will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Good cause is generally established by showing that the employee’s reason for quitting justifies the applicant’s unemployment status. Applicants who left voluntarily due to domestic violence, military spouse relocation or an unhealthy work environment will generally be considered to have quit with good cause.
Employees who were fired for misconduct such as insubordination, excessive absenteeism or coming to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
Applicants who are initially denied may appeal their claims to the Appeal Tribunal of the New Jersey Department of Labor within seven days of delivery, or ten days of mailing, of the Notice of Determination. Applicants may request an extension if they can show good cause, for example an unforeseen situation beyond the applicant’s control. The Appeal Tribunal will then schedule a hearing which usually takes place over the phone.
Applicants should include a brief explanation of why they should receive benefits and may submit their appeal in person, by fax or by mail. Throughout the process, applicants should also be actively seeking work just as they would if their application was approved so that they may be eligible to receive retroactive benefits; if successful, claimants may receive current and retroactive benefits to compensate for the time of the initial denial.
A claims examiner will mail a written decision to the parties including the applicant, former employer, witnesses, representatives and attorneys, based on their sworn testimony and other evidence presented at the hearing. If the applicant has still not been approved, he or she may appeal to the Board of Review, the New Jersey Appellate Division and the New Jersey Supreme Court, respectively.
Marlton Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Help New Jersey Residents Obtain Unemployment Benefits
We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including the areas of Marlton, Red Bank, Middletown and Cherry Hill. Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation today.