For general information & help with basic needs, read our COVID-19 web pages or dial 211. For alerts/updates, text NJCOVID to 898-211. Live help on COVID-19 information is available. Speak to a healthcare professional at 1-800-962-1253.

COVID-19 Unemployment, Family Leave and Related Matters

Employees throughout our state have been seriously impacted by COVID-19. Below, we have tried to highlight the topics that we are asked about frequently. If you do not see the topic that you are looking for, please visit our state's COVID-19 website.

Resources for those who are unemployed due to COVID-19

Over 1.3 million New Jerseyans have filed for unemployment since mid-March. Many have been helped but there are many who were experiencing problems and significant delays. In Governor Murphy's daily briefing on July 2, 2020, it was reported that 96% of those who have filed and were deemed eligible, have now received a payment. In response to the pandemic, the department has also extended benefits for an additional 20 weeks.

You can check the status of your claim here

Here are the four most frequently asked questions:

  • "What does it mean if my claim is pending, or not payable at this time?" Answer
  • "What if I see a message to contact the call center or speak to an agent?" Answer
  • "Why does my claim show $0 in the WBR amount?" Answer
  • "How can I reset my PIN or password?" Answer

Here are some further answers to even more frequently asked questions.

Are you having trouble when certifying for weekly benefits? Here's how to answer those questions during the pandemic so that things will go smoothly. It is well worth your time to review this document, as wrong answers will likely stop your weekly certification process thereby delaying your unemployment benefit payment.

Employees who are out of work are encouraged to visit the NJ Department of Labor website to access information about benefits and to file claims. Read through the worker stories to determine which benefits program best fits your situation. 

For self-employed NJ workers there is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This is a new program authorized by Congress to provide unemployment benefits to workers not eligible for regular unemployment. In addition to people who are self-employed or independent contractors, this includes those who do not have enough recent earnings to receive regular unemployment benefits.   

Workers in this group, who have applied for regular unemployment and been denied, do not have to do anything further. Payments will be sent starting in the end of April. Those who have not yet applied are encouraged to review the guides offered here and begin the process of applying for PUA.

If you have questions about filing for unemployment, please visit this site. Filing online is the fastest way to receive benefits. The NJ Department of Labor offers specific tips on filing because of a coronavirus work situation. If you are unable to file online, you may follow these steps to file over the phone.

If you are missing wages from your employer, or not being given your New Jersey earned sick leave, please file a claim

If you are looking for a job, please visit this jobs portal. Many positions are available.

You may find additional resources and answers to frequently asked questions at the state's COVID-19 website

Earned Sick Leave and Family Care

New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave Law covers public health emergencies – employees can use Earned Sick Leave if their workplace or child’s school or daycare is closed due to an epidemic, or if a public health authority determines the need for a quarantine.

Earned Sick Leave can be used for self-care, or for a person to care for a family member, which includes a child, grandchild, sibling, spouse, parent or grandparent, domestic or civil union partner, anyone related by blood to the employee, or anyone whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of family. Details on this and more can be found at the NJ Department of Labor website.