TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator James Beach and Senate Labor Chairman Fred H. Madden that would allow veterans and other groups to apply online for unemployment insurance compensation (UI) benefits was approved today by the Senate Labor Committee.
The bill, S-2667, would require the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) to permit claimants who served in the military, worked for the federal government, or worked outside the State of New Jersey to apply through the internet for unemployment insurance benefits. Current law only allows for the groups to apply by telephone or in person. This bill seeks to give all eligible claimants the same access to online certification.
“We shouldn’t be asking our residents, especially veterans and public servants, to jump through hoops to access unemployment benefits. Allowing these groups to file online, an option that most residents are already offered, is common sense. By making this change, hopefully we can help more veterans, workers and their families get the support they need,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington, Camden) who serves as Chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
According to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey’s unemployment rate reached a high of 9.3 in 2009, dropping to 6.2 percent this year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that currently about 290,000 people remain unemployed in the state.
“We need to make sure people who are out of work, through no fault of their own, have easy access to their benefits. Unfortunately, certain groups are at a disadvantage because they are limited only to seeking unemployment compensation through the traditional route. Providing veterans and public servants with online access to the application process will better ensure they get the benefits they earned in a timely manner,” said Senator Madden (D-Gloucester, Camden).
The bill is now pending for consideration by the Senate.