The 75,000 claimants whose unemployment benefits have expired or lapsed will have their claims resolved by Feb. 12, Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo announced Friday.
The Labor Department will be sending emails to claimants once their claims are “unpaused,” informing them when to certify for weeks that were missed. If there are no issues, funds could land in people’s accounts as soon as Feb. 15, depending on when they certify and on their banks, he said.
Since the second stimulus package was signed in late December, tens of thousands of unemployed workers have been waiting for news on the 11-week benefit extension, which extends federal programs like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. It also added a weekly supplemental $300 check to anyone collecting unemployment benefits through March 14.
States across the country have run into issues programming the 11-week benefit extension, partially becauseCongress and former President Donald Trump finalized the second stimulus bill one day after benefits had already lapsed, not giving states enough time to program the new extension, the Labor Department has said.
New Jersey finished part of its programming Tuesday, Asaro-Angelo said, so that no additional claimants would be added to the 5% of claims that are currently in limbo and expect to be processed by Feb. 12. More than 300,000 claimants were moved to the new benefit extension seamlessly, he added.
“Hopefully, yes, I am confident” that claims will be ready to go by next Friday, he said. “At the same time, there’s been problems in the past and I can’t tell you what’s going on in the future.”
Claimants will have to certify for every week missed, so people who haven’t received money since Dec. 26 will have to certify for five weeks. And if a claimant’s day to certify is Saturday, by next Monday or Tuesday, they should see a lump sum in their bank account for every week missed, and another lump sum of the extra weekly $300 checks, Asaro-Angelo explained.
Since the pandemic derailed the economy and job market after Gov. Phil Murphy effectively shut down the state to curb the spread of the virus, nearly 2 million claims have been filed to the New Jersey Department of Labor seeking unemployment benefits.
Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com.
Statehouse Reporter Matt Arco contributed to this report.
Karin Price Mueller may be reached at KPriceMueller@NJAdvanceMedia.com.
Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips
Go to the news source: 75K residents whose unemployment benefits lapsed will have claims resolved next …