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Information on Unemployment Compensation

Mar 31, 2020
Press Release

The CARES Act, which the House passed on Friday and the President signed into law over the weekend, expands and extends unemployment compensation programs as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19. Through July 31, 2020, the federal government will provide a supplemental Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payment of $600 a week for any worker eligible for state or federal unemployment compensation benefits. This payment will be in addition to and at the same time, although not necessarily in the same check, as regular state or federal unemployment benefits. 

The bill also permits states to expand eligibility to provide unemployment compensation to those who are not normally eligible for benefits if they lost their job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This expansion will help cover those who are self-employed, independent contractors, those in the gig economy, and people who were unable to start a new job because of the pandemic including those in the arts and entertainment industries.

The federal government will also assist states in providing unemployment compensation to many nonprofits, Indian Tribes, and government entities. Employees for such organizations will also qualify for the supplemental federal assistance of $600 a week. Tipped workers who qualify for unemployment compensation will also receive the supplemental $600 a week.

Since each state has different unemployment compensation regulations, it is very important that residents of New Jersey review up to date information that is put out by the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development. If you live and work in New Jersey and have lost your job in these tumultuous times please find more information on how to file a claim with the Department of Labor here:

If you experience technical issues, please be patient. You can also contact my office at or 202-225-7919. Thousands of New Jerseyans have had their lives upended by this pandemic so online systems might be running slower than normal as all those impacted seek assistance.