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What benefits or unemployment insurance are available to me?

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

What benefits or unemployment insurance, including Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, are available to me?

Types of Individuals


Whether you are impacted by a medical condition personally, by the situation of a family member, or by the status of your business or employer during the COVID-19 outbreak, the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJDOL) can advise you on the benefits for which you may be eligible in a number of situations. If you are an employee, visit their page on NJDOL Benefits and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Employees Should Know to learn about these situations and assess which may be applicable to you.

A useful graphic comparison of these scenarios and their available benefits is also available from NJDOL by viewing COVID-19 Scenarios & Benefits Available [pdf].

Business Owners

If you are a business owner, information regarding unemployment insurance eligibility can be found at NJDOL's Information for Corporate Officers & Business Owners.

Freelancers/Independent Contractors

The recently enacted CARES ACT extends unemployment benefits to freelancers, gig workers and independent contractors, who typically are not eligible. Visit NJDOL's Information for Self-Employed NJ Workers.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJDOL) is awaiting federal guidance on determining eligibility for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and anticipates that guidance arriving soon. Meanwhile, these workers should apply for unemployment insurance. The application likely will be denied, but that initial denial is a necessary step toward being able to collect the COVID-related benefit. Next, these workers should gather their past two years of tax returns, which will become necessary for their claim to be processed once federal rules are established.

Additionally, the $600 supplemental unemployment insurance for all recipients is expected to arrive beginning next week. It will be issued separately from regular unemployment benefits.

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