NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, which has distributed $1.2 billion in FEMA payments to 778,000 New Jerseyans, announced this week that an additional 88,000 potentially eligible claimants would get an additional opportunity to certify for the $300 limited-time benefit.
The Labor Department will notify people who meet the eligibility requirements via email and text message in coming weeks of this additional chance to attest that their unemployment during the eligible weeks was COVID-19 related, which is required by federal law for this benefit. There is no need to call or email the Department.
“Since the payments made to New Jerseyans to date did not exhaust our FEMA Lost Wage Assistance, we are developing a process for remaining claimants who may be eligible but did not select a COVID-related reason for their unemployment to do so,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We’re pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to people who missed the original certification deadline, in hopes that many will meet the federal requirements for eligibility.”
The FEMA payment, known as Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) , is a federal program that paid a $300 weekly supplement to most workers unemployed during the weeks ending Aug. 1 through Sept. 5 for a COVID-19 related reason. The maximum benefit is for six weeks, for a total of $1,800.
The Department also was preparing to implement Gov. Murphy’s new executive order on COVID-19 workplace protections.
The order empowers the Labor and Health departments to ensure that both public- and private-sector workplaces remain safe for people who are working on site through the pandemic. For more information on returning to work during COVID-19, click here.
For the week ending Oct. 31, New Jersey saw a 9 percent drop in new unemployment claims, the third straight week of declines, for a weekly total of 24,690* new claims.
Approximately 1.76 million people have applied for unemployment since mid-March, and 1.46 have met the monetary requirements for benefits. Of those, 96 percent have received payment. The average claimant has received more than $13,000 in benefits.
The Department has distributed $18.4 billion in payments to unemployed and under employed New Jersey workers, including $338 million last week.
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*This represents the final number for the week ending Oct. 31. The number listed for New Jersey by the US Department of Labor – 23,902 – is based on advanced reporting.
Here is a look at the weekly payments made by the Labor Department to eligible claimants:
PUA, PEUC and FPUC are federal programs authorized by Congress under the CARES Act. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides benefits through the end of the year; maximum eligibility is 46 weeks. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides 13 weeks of federal benefits for those who exhaust 26 weeks of state unemployment. Most of them are able to transition to 20 weeks of state Extended Benefits (EB). Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provided $600/week to everyone eligible for unemployment for the weeks of April 4 through July 25. LWA provided up to six weeks of supplemental benefits through FEMA to people unemployed the weeks of Aug. 1 through Sept. 5 due to COVID, and who were eligible for at least $100 in weekly unemployment.
For more information on state or federal unemployment programs, visit myunemployment.nj.gov.
Anyone looking for work is encouraged to visit New Jersey’s jobs portal — jobs.covid19.nj.gov.