New Jersey Should Be Honest About Unemployment Call Center Shortcomings
New Jerseys IT difficulties were laid bare by the pandemic.
Two weeks ago, our own Nikita Biryukov reported on a study out of the University of Chicago that ranked states on how easy it is to get a government official on the phone.
New Jersey came in dead last. Researchers tried four different government agencies and reached a person less than 20% of the time in New Jersey. It looks like they had zero live interactions with anyone at the division of unemployment, a department that has been sharply criticized by folks who are still waiting on unemployment benefits they should have received long ago.
The spokeswoman for the Department of Labor was not pleased with Nikitas story, and in an emailed statement referred to the study in scare quotes and disputed its findings.
OK, I thought, it should be pretty easy to figure out if the Chicago researchers were correct or not. So I picked up my phone and dialed the states re-employment call center, where, New Jerseys website promises me, customer service agents can accept my insurance claim over the phone.
I called Aug. 6 at 8:52 a.m. The automated response told me to call back on the next business day. I tried all three numbers for north, central and south Jersey and received the same message to call back again.
I called again at 3:15 p.m. to see if maybe I could get someone then. Nope. Same automated message. All three times.
I called the following Monday at 11:38 a.m. Call back later.
How I Survived Unemployment
I have never lived through a Depression, and I was not in the workforce during the last recession . I have been unemployed, though. Some of my experiences are not the same. For example, the chances are that we are in this for the long haul. Whole industries are being upended, and the long-term ramification will be felt for a while. However, I do have some tips that can apply regardless of the terms of unemployment. Recession or no recession, the rules remain the same.
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Are You Filing An Initial Or Weekly Claim
We process hundreds of thousands of claims each week. Heres what you can do to get the help you need:
- Be prepared: Before you apply, take our Eligibility Quiz, read these instructions, and review our step-by-guides and videos. This will help you complete your application and speed up processing times. Our checklist will help you gather documents before starting your application.
- Apply online:The best way to file your initial claim is by using our Online Claim System. If you are unable to file a claim online, you can claim a week of benefits for unemployment insurance using our automated phone system at 800-982-8920.
- Search the website: Use our website and Jesse, the virtual agent, to find answers to your questions.
- You will get paid: If your application is approved, you will get paid for all of the time you have filed and qualify for. When you apply, start your claim from the time you lost your job or had your hours reduced. Be sure to file weekly claims after each week ends because that protects your rights to benefits.
- Still cant find what youre looking for? Submit a ticket through our Contact Us form to get your questions answered.
The Employment Department provides free interpretation through our hotlines. We also provide the following language assistance options:
- Send your name, requested language, and phone number to to receive a call back in your language.
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End New York’s Covidiocy Now
Coronavirus-related layoffs are leading to jammed phone lines and crashed websites at unemployment offices from coast to coast.
So many are calling, clicking, but not getting through. The latest grim statistics from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that nearly 3.3 million are unemployed likely reflect just a fraction of whos been laid off.
Nowhere is the disparity between whos really unemployed, and who managed to sign up for benefits, bigger than in New York, where the state Labor Department reports 1,734,000 people called their unemployment phone line in the week ending Saturday, March 21.
The states unemployment website, meanwhile, was accessed 2,270 million times.
But those numbers were not reflected in the federal stats on how many Americans actually signed up for benefits: of all the millions of people dialing in and logging on, only 80,334 New Yorkers applied last week for benefits.
For many, trying to get through is their new, replacement job.
I try every fing day quote me, said laid-off arborist Robert Shapiro, 63, of the West Village. When I call, it tells me I have completed my application.
Then it says hold for an agent. Then it says no agents are available, call back tomorrow. And then click. It doesnt give you any information, any place to go. Every single day. I call different times of day, no difference. Online its the same thing. It just crashes.
A-F? Call Monday.
How To Get Cobra
Group health plans must give covered employees and their families a notice explaining their COBRA rights. Plans must have rules for how COBRA coverage is offered, how beneficiaries may choose to get it and when they can stop coverage. For more COBRA information, see COBRA Premium Subsidy. The page links to information about COBRA including:
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Lost Wage Assistance Program
What was the Lost Wages Assistance Program ?
On August 8, 2020, the President issued an executive memorandum authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to expend up to $44 billion from its Disaster Relief Fund to provide supplemental benefits to Americans receiving unemployment benefits, creating the Lost Wages Assistance Program . The program provided eligible claimants with an additional $300 in benefits for each of the qualifying weeks. LWAP was only available for the weeks ending August 1, 2020 through September 5, 2020.
Who was eligible for the additional Lost Wages Assistance ?
The program was limited in scope and, due to federal restrictions, was available only to those persons who provided self-certification that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 and who received at least $100 from a qualifying underlying unemployment benefit program.
An individual was determined to have received at least $100 per week for purposes of being an eligible claimant if the individuals weekly benefit amount as provided on the monetary determination is at least $100 . In addition, the week in question must have been considered compensable.
When did the additional Lost Wages Assistance start, and how long did it last?
Are the LWA benefits taxable?
Yes. These benefits are subject to state and federal taxes.
New York Unemployment Number
Here are the best contact numbers and tips to get in touch a live agent at the NY DOL. See the New York Department of Labor resource page for more information and reader comments.
- New Claim: 1-888-209-8124. This is the Telephone Claims Center . Open from Monday Friday 8:00 AM 7:30 PM & Saturday and Sunday 7:30 AM 8:00 PM
- Pending Claims: 1-800-833-3000
- Weekly Certification: 1-888-581-5812 or 1-833-324-0366 .. PLEASE NOTE: PUA recipients need to certify weekly. Regular UI should be certified online or when requested by the DOL
- For NY.gov assistance or other website issues call 800-833-3000.
You must call This number here -491-0632 As I did and only found out through friends that they were receiving their $300 in Lost Wages Assistance benefits and I wasnt. Nor did I ever receive an email from the Dept.of labor. Once you call this automated number and answer the question you will receive your money In a matter of days literally. Please be patient, and LISTEN to all of the Question/options BEFORE answering!! GOOD LUCK
Like all major state UI agencies the NY DOL is currently experiencing high call volumes, so if you can get through to an agent and their website is not useful consider contacting them via their social media sites which seem to have the new updates posted regularly. Or follow me on where I retweet pertinent updates.
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Unemployment Benefits Contact Information For Claimants
- Check claim status and payment history
- Request Your Waiting Week
Learning To Survive Without Unemployment Benefits
Some families are able to get by, for now. The Flemings are living off savings and deferring all loan payments to make ends meet.
Jazmine says she is getting by with A combination of emergency savings, a partner that is still receiving a salary, and the grace of my community. My landlord isnt requiring rent to be paid on time right now, and while a large portion of my emergency fund just went to emergency medical bills, Ill be able to last a while more. My company is continuing to pay the employer portion of my medical plan, but also started paying the employee portion as well.
McLaughlin is grateful for her financial position. I feel like I am one of the lucky ones because I do have a pension that helps pay most of the bills, she shared. I also have some savings I can live on for now.
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Are You Out Of Work Through No Fault Of Your Own
You must be out of work through no fault of your own to qualify for unemployment benefits.
Collecting Unemployment After a Layoff
If you were laid off, lost your job in a reduction-in-force , or got downsized for economic reasons, you will still meet this requirement.
Collecting Unemployment After Being Fired
If you were fired because you lacked the skills to perform the job or simply werent a good fit, you wont necessarily be barred from receiving benefits. However, if you engaged in misconduct, you will not be eligible to receive unemployment. In Oregon, among other things, misconduct means an intentional violation of the employers rules, the failure to conform to standards which an employer can reasonably expect from an employee, or careless behavior that is so frequent or severe that it shows a disregard for the employers interests. For example, showing up to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs or having several unexcused absences after written warning would typically qualify as misconduct.
Collecting Unemployment After Quitting
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Virginia Vec Contact Numbers
Delayed payments due to reinstated work search requirements has been a primary cause of payment delays for many Virginians. To get help you can see the following contact numbers from the VEC Customer Contact Center at 1-866-832-2363. This is available from 8:15am to 4:30pm, Monday Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday.
You can also call their claims info line 800-897-5630 to get the status of your claim and file an appeal. You can use their automated chat bot to get started in off peak or non-working VEC hours. This can get you going in the right direction faster than via the phone service.
VEC Constituents Inquiry Form for those who want to get help from their local representative on UI Payment issues. Fill in the fields on the form with your details and focus on the specific pitfalls needing to be fixed. Dont use as a complaint form.
Virginia Workforce Connection It is mandatory to register when you first file for UI Mandatory to upload existing or new resume for job searching. If you dont do this your work search requirement could be impacted and your payment could be delayed.
VA Work Search Requirements you must actively make at least two job contacts each week and report the details online or over the phone: For regular UI claimants, online at www.getgov2go.com or over the phone at 800-897-5630 For PUA claimants, you must call 866-832-2363 and follow the prompts to file your weekly claim
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How To Appeal A Denial Of Unemployment Benefits In Oregon
If your claim for unemployment is denied, you have 20 days to appeal the decision with the Office of Administrative Hearings. You can request a hearing by sending a letter or fax to the Office of Administrative Hearings.
After receiving your appeal request, a hearing will be scheduled to receive evidence from both you and your employer. An Administrative Law Judge will conduct the hearing by telephone and issue a written decision. If you disagree with the ALJs decision, you may appeal to the Employment Appeals Board by the date stated in the ALJs notice of decision. And, if you disagree with the Boards decision, you may file an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals.
The ED provides additional information on the unemployment process at its website.
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Free Service To Help Expedite Ui Applications + Auto
today.com details a free service by the developers of the donotpay app that helps speed up processing your ui application. i only skimmed the article, but it appears that this service might only be for people filing new ui applications i.e. if you have not submitted your ui application yet. youre welcome to fiddle with the system if you want to experiment, but i highly advise against resubmitting your ui or pua applications as it is very likely to cause confusion and further delay your application processing.
should the ui application you filled via this service require a phone call to be completed, the service will have a bot auto-redial the relevant number for you until it connects. i am not sure whether or not the auto-redialer is available to people who have already filled ui applications.
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I Cannot Get Through On The Phone What Do I Do Now
We’ve expanded our MiWAM online chat and have added a number of FAQs and How-to videos to our website.
You may also schedule an appointment to speak with a Customer Service Agent. Select the date, time, and type of appointment you would like to schedule.
Telephone appointments and virtual appointments are available for customers with specific claim issues.
Virtual appointments utilizing voice to text closed captioning are available for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
What Is Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment insurance provides compensation to workers who lose their job. Typically, this means being laid off for lack of work, not quitting.
Monetary payments are provided for a specific period of time or until the worker is hired for a new job.
Each state has its own eligibility guidelines for unemployment insurance benefits. These usually include an earnings threshold and a time-worked requirement. In most states, workers who were employed for the first four of the last five calendar quarters meet the requirements for time worked.
You can find information on collecting unemployment benefits and filing a claim on your states unemployment website. The U.S. Department of Labors CareerOneStop provides a list of state unemployment benefit programs.
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Filing An Initial Claim
What information do I need to file a new application?
When filing a new application, you will need the following information:
- Your Social Security number
- Full mailing address, including apartment or lot number, Zip Code and PO Box if you use one
- A phone number where you can be reached during the day
- The name and mailing address of your last employer, no matter how long you worked there
- Note: Your paycheck stub or W-2 form usually contains this information
- The date you began and stopped working for each employer and the reason you left each job for the last 18 months
- The county in which you live
- Your driver’s license number
- If you are not a citizen or national of the United States, your employment authorization number and expiration date
- If you were active duty military within the past 18 months, your DD-214, Member #4 form
- If you were a federal employee, your Standard Form SF-50 or pay stub
- Any separation, vacation, or holiday pay you have received or will receive in the future.
A record of your application will not be established unless you are told your claim has been accepted. If you are unable to complete your application, the information you have entered will be saved for 7 days from the date you began filing the claim so that you can complete it later and within 7 days.
What if I have wages earned in another state, the military, or the federal government?
Go to GetKansasBenefits.gov and click to file an online application for unemployment insurance if:
How Do I File For Unemployment Benefits In Oregon
In Oregon, you can file a new claim for unemployment either online or over the phone through one of the states unemployment insurance call centers:
To find the appropriate center to call, use the states ZIP code lookup tool.
You will be able to file an initial claim through the Oregon unemployment phone number if:
- You have filed an Oregon unemployment insurance claim in another state within the past 12 months.
- You have not worked in Oregon in the past 18 months.
- You worked as a merchant seaman in the last 18 months.
- You are currently outside of the US.
- You performed 90 days or more of active duty service for a branch of the United States military within the last 18 months, other than training for a National Guard unit.
- You filed an Oregon unemployment claim in another state within the past 12 months.
However, Oregon has lifted some restrictions on unemployment insurance claims for those affected by COVID-19, including employees whose workplaces are temporarily closed.
Before you file your claim you will need to several pieces of information handy:
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