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New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Clarification: Key Definitions Explained

Unemployment insurance (UI) plays a vital role in supporting people during periods of job loss or economic instability. However, understanding the terminology and procedures associated with the New Jersey UI system is essential for both claimants and employers. This article aims to clarify the key definitions and concepts found in user interface communications and notices.

Certify for benefits: Applicants must certify for benefits weekly or biweekly to confirm their continued eligibility for UI benefits. This involves verifying that they are still unemployed, actively looking for work, and meeting all other requirements to receive benefits.

Claimant: A person who has filed a claim for UI benefits after experiencing job loss or unemployment.

Commission: Payment provided to an employee upon completion of a task, often based on the sale of goods or services. Commission earnings may affect UI benefits depending on the circumstances.

Work related: Disqualifications for misconduct in UI cases are evaluated based on whether the conduct leading to the dismissal is considered “work-related.” This includes actions that occur during work hours or off premises that negatively affect job performance.

Payment continuation: When a claimant receives wages or benefits regularly until a future date of separation, he or she cannot be considered unemployed during that period. This may affect eligibility for UI benefits.

Corporate officer: Officers or owners with significant equity in a corporation cannot be considered unemployed unless they can establish a valid claim based on non-corporate employment.

Covered Employment: Employment that qualifies a worker to establish a monetary claim for UI benefits. Independent contractors and certain religious institutions may not qualify as covered employment.

Date of request: The Sunday at the beginning of the week in which the initial UI application is filed determines the application date.

Dependency benefits: Additional payments available to applicants who meet eligibility requirements, such as having dependents. These benefits increase the weekly UI benefit amount.

Dependent: A spouse, common-law partner, or unmarried child under age 19 (or 22 if still in school full-time) may qualify as a dependent for UI purposes.

Determination/Decision: A ruling on a claimant's eligibility for UI benefits.

Direct deposit: One of the methods available to receive UI benefit payments, where funds are deposited directly into a designated bank account.

Disqualification: A claimant may be disqualified from receiving UI benefits for reasons such as misconduct, voluntary resignation without good cause, or refusal of suitable work.

Domestic violence: Applicants who quit their job or are fired due to domestic or sexual violence may be eligible for UI benefits.

Electronic adjudication: Additional information may be collected from claimants by email (electronic adjudication) or by telephone if questions arise about a claim.

Evidence: Information presented to a court to determine the truth of a matter, including documents, recordings, and testimony.

Research interview: An interview conducted to gather additional information about a UI claim, which may be conducted by phone, email, or mail.

Fraud: Illegally claiming or accepting UI benefits, such as working while collecting benefits without reporting earnings.

Justified cause: Extenuating circumstances that may justify exceptions to UI filing or appeal requirements.

Gross income: Total income before taxes or deductions, which must be reported by applicants who work part-time while receiving UI benefits.

Serious misconduct: Serious misconduct that disqualifies a claimant from UI benefits until certain conditions are met.

Audience: A procedure in which evidence and testimony are presented before a decision is made on a UI appeal.

Hearsay testimony: Second-hand evidence that may be considered in UI hearings, depending on its relevance and admissibility.

Understanding these definitions is essential to navigating New Jersey's UI system effectively, ensuring that applicants receive the support they need and that employers comply with regulations. Stay tuned for this series of posts on the website that aims to cover all the letters of the alphabet to provide a complete guide on the topic.

Source: Division of Unemployment Insurance: Glossary 

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