How do I talk to a live unemployment agent on the phone in New Jersey?

by Debby Errigo
(Pennsauken, NJ. )

I have been trying to apply for un-employment insurance for 2 weeks now. Spending many hours on the phone only to hear all lines are busy and then I am disconnected. I have tried to apply on line but because I have had a claim last year they will not recognize my user ID and pass word and direct me to call which has been a dead end. I am trying to collect partial un-employment since I have been cut down to 2 days a week from the normal 5 days a week. Your help on this matter would be appreciated. Thanks, Debby

Sorry Debby,

I'm not going to be much help with this problem

As far as getting a live person on the phone .. maybe some kind soul also from NJ, has a trick or technique to share about how they finally made it through to a live person at the New Jersey unemployment department.

***Edited*** 2015 (This unemployment question just received a new comment. Though it was time for a little update).

Now that it is 2015, that people still have trouble getting through to live people at the unemployment department is even more troubling that it was in the midst of the recession.

I have to wonder what the power that be in New Jersey, did with it's full portion of stimulus funds for modernizing UI laws in 2009. Remember the stimulus which conservatives thought was such a waste, but may of opened their hands to receive nonetheless?

I know NJ was a state that effectively compounded the benefits of the stimulus windfall, when in 2010 provisions controlling benefit disqualifications were not only changed, but increased. Those efforts effectively knocked recipiency back during a nasty recession by about twenty percent.

As for the phone systems that fail and thereby create big gaping holes in the safety net .. Frankly, I thought many states would of wisely used a portion of stimulus money to make improvements, or simply replace some very antiquated phone systems.

Guessing unemployed people being able to contact the LWD wasn't where New Jersey thought the money could do some good.

Sad, but true

Comments for How do I talk to a live unemployment agent on the phone in New Jersey?

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To: Same Boat

I know you're in New Jersey and you're living in one of three states where employees must contribute an unemployment tax, but it raised question for me, so I decided to learn a little about the employee unemployment taxes you must pay.

Scroll to the bottom, find the refund form links. On one of those forms I could see how much unemployment tax employees must pay and where each portion goes .. worth checking out if you think you may be due a refund due to having more than one part-time job.

I was also concerned about what your govenor was doing in the summer of 09, or maybe it was 2010, that New Jersey suddenly changed it's definition and disqaulification for work misconduct.

Whatever year, making the change was effective , as it knocked New Jersey's recipient rate down to a level more in line with other states, but still, NJ has remained one of the higher recipient rates in the country.

You can find unemployment statistics and rates in handy dandy charts .. here. Although the state specific charts don't seem to be working at the moment.

Same boat
by: Anonymous

Anyone who is working is paying into unemployment. If you are able to collect you obviously paid your dues to collect. I feel a class action lawsuit against the state of New Jersey would suffice. Not to mention it's political to not have people collecting, it keeps the numbers of unemployed down. Thank that Fat Turd of a Governor.

Trying to talk to UI human
by: Katie

Call your state representatives office and tell them you can't get through! I was also on hold for hours each time I called.
I did this in Michigan and not ten minutes after I got off the phone with my Michigan State Representative a human called me from the unemployment Office!!

nothing has changed - still not functional in 2015
by: Anonymous

the NJ unemployment phone line is a total waste. you hold forever listening to garbage music, then to add insult to injury, it hangs up at 4:30 so the office can close after I was holding for over 3 hours. I actually made it through the phone menu 3 times only to have the system hang up on me. Maybe I should run for office and fire all the employees in the office. Perhaps that would get their attention.

Talk to a live person
by: Anonymous

I've been out of work on and off since 2006 and I have NEVER gotten a live person on the phone number given. The only way that I've found in the past to actually get someone on the phone is to pick the name of some big gun down in Trenton, call that number and then pretend it was a mistake, usually I get switched over to someone who can actually do me some good right on the spot. Now I haven't had to do this for sometime now, not because I am gainfully employed but because I'm not longer able to collect and the great thing about that is that I don't get counted as UNEMPLOYED so it helps the state's numbers stay low and keeps us from getting any help.

frustrated too
by: jim d

I have the same problem. Have been trying to reactivate my claim after three weeks plus where, due to honesty, I declined benefits due to temporary non-availability.
I had already spoken to one of their agents on August 12th and left that conversation convinced that NJ would have no problem renewing my claim after August 19th.
This week, I started trying to recollect my benefits on the web on Monday, Labor Day holiday. At that point, I was told on the internet connection that I would have to talk to another agent before they could process my claim.
Starting on Tuesday, I have been making constant calls to the published phone numbers, and have experienced the same treatment time and time again. To wit, the message is: "due to high volume of calls waiting, we are cannot take your call at this time.." The message goes on to say that I should use the internet, the very method that just told me that I cannot process my claim until I talk to a live agent.
Just an unbelievable runaround. What worries me is that you only have ten days to call back and get your claim going. At this rate, I won't get it in before the New Year.


I can't really offer anyone .. in any state, a resolution to this problem except maybe to contact the New Jersey AG's office and complain.

I read the same from residents of other states as well.

Maybe if it becomes known how much of an issue it is .. an AG's office, the one that is responsible for complying with federal laws and guidelines might take action to resolve the problem on an individual basis.

Cant file for a claim
by: Anonymous

I have been trying to contact a claims agent and im not getting anything back in return but a dead line please help!!!!

Sorry, I'm unclear why you think anyone here can help you with what is clearly a technical problem at the NJ unemployment office.

Can anyone reading this help Anonymous if they've had this issue with NJ and managed to resolve the problem?


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