New Jersey Unemployment Benefits Lawyer
New Jersey’s unemployment insurance program provides benefits for many workers who are laid off or fired by their employer. In some cases, you may even be eligible for unemployment benefits if you were forced to quit your job for “good cause.” But in any event, you can only receive unemployment if you met certain minimum earnings requirements while you were employed.
If you have been denied unemployment benefits for any reason, you do have legal options to appeal that decision. But you need to act quickly to preserve those rights. An experienced New Jersey unemployment benefits lawyer can advise and represent you during this process. At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, we have helped many clients challenge a denial of unemployment benefits and we will put that expertise to work for you.
Why Can You Be Rejected for Unemployment Benefits in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers unemployment insurance claims in the state. If the Department denies your claim for unemployment benefits for any reason, it will send you a letter notifying you of said reasons. You then have a limited period of time–7 days from when you received the letter or 10 days from when it was mailed–to file an appeal.
Here are a few of the more common reasons why the Department may deny your claim for unemployment benefits:
- You quit your last job without cause. Unemployment insurance is designed to protect individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. So as a general rule, you cannot quit your job and claim unemployment benefits. However, there are several exceptions to that rule. For example, if you faced pervasive racial discrimination at work or were forced to deal with dangerous working conditions, you can claim you quit for “good cause” and still claim uninsurance benefits.
- You were fired for misconduct. Getting fired does not, in and of itself, disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits. Many people are fired simply because they were bad at their job or did not get along with their boss. Neither of these are valid reasons to deny unemployment. But if the employer can show you were fired for misconduct–you failed to follow company rules, you were insubordinate, you showed up for work drunk, et cetera–then you may be found ineligible for unemployment based on that misconduct.
- You do not meet the earnings requirements. New Jersey unemployment benefits are based on a 52-week base period. Within that period, you must have worked a certain number of weeks and earned a minimum amount of money to be covered by unemployment insurance.
- You have refused suitable work. Even if you are eligible for unemployment benefits, to maintain that eligibility you must be able to work and actively look for employment. This means you must not only conduct a reasonable search for work; you must also accept any “suitable” position that you are offered.
If you believe that you have been improperly denied unemployment benefits based on any of the reasons stated above, you have the right to file an appeal. An Appeal Tribunal will then review your case. If you are dissatisfied with the Appeal Tribunal’s decision, you can pursue a further appeal to the Department of Labor’s Board of Review, and beyond that to the New Jersey Superior Court’s Appellate Division.
New Jersey Unemployment Benefits Lawyers Serving Ocean, Monmouth & Middlesex County
Many people are confused as to why they have been rejected for unemployment benefits. If you have questions or concerns and would like to learn more about your legal options from a qualified New Jersey unemployment benefits attorney, contact Poulos LoPiccolo PC today to schedule an initial consultation.