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.


Currently is is 2016 and people are still finding it difficult to impossible to talk to live people at the unemployment department in New Jersey

Sad, but true. This question about getting a live person on the phone at New Jersey's LWD was originally asked while the great recession was in full swing.

So what's the problem now in 2016, that it still get comments? I still don't know.

But I do know omeone at the NJ LWD might want to answer the phone calls and actually listen to the questions being asked by unemployed people!

Do you have good advice to talk to get a live person on the phone at NJ's unemployment office?

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Jul 19, 2016
God Bless the people on here
by: Anonymous

I had spent 5.75 hours on hold between yesterday and today. On a whim I googled how do I speak...found this page. The 609-777-3200 put me into a real person...on a whim I did this!!!

Thank you, thank you...!!!

Jul 14, 2016
Bless your soul
by: K W

After weeks of calling and getting that &^%$^ "call center line full" message, I got in queue this morning at 8:30 AM. It said 13-19 wait but I didn't get a live person til 10:30 AM. After giving her my SS#, she said hold, and we disconnected!!!!!!

Lines were too full from then on.

Spent time googling for hints and found this thread with that 609 number!. Guy picked up on second ring. Got help I needed in under 3 minutes.

Outstanding job to the poster of that number! It's as if the sun just came out on a cloudy day!

Bless youyr little heart!

Jul 13, 2016
by: Anonymous

Yeah. I've spoken to some people at that 609 number as well but I have yet to receive any assistance. But the number DOES in fact work. Good luck guys.

Jul 07, 2016
Def call that 609 number
by: Anonymous

After a week of trying the regular unemp #s and going to a center I googled this and found the 609 # listed in this thread. It def works try that number they will help you

Jul 05, 2016
Finally got through
by: Anonymous

I called off and on during the day Friday only to get a message to call another time because of high call volume. So, I called at precisely 8:30am (when they open) this morning. I went right into the automated part of the call which took about 7 minutes. I was then put on hold. A rep didn't pick up until 10:20!!! It was a 5 minute conversation. I can't imagine how so many people were before me that justified an hour and 50 minute wait time when I had to have been one of the first callers. Anyhow- call on a landline so you don't have to worry about your signal, call at 8:30 and put it on speaker so you can do something els while you wait. That's my advice!

Jul 05, 2016
The number WORKS
by: Anonymous

got cutoff, dialed it.. and online w/ someone now..

Jun 30, 2016
And here's that phone number again for New Jersey Unemployment Department
by: Chris -


Jun 30, 2016
Unlisted number worked!! Thank you
by: Anonymous

The unpublished phone # posted by someone on Feb 02, 2016 worked for me. I asked someone on that # for help and they had a claims agent call me within 5 minutes!
Thanks anonymous

May 23, 2016
The earlier the better
by: Anonymous

the only advice I can get is to call EXACTLY at 8:30am or when offices open... 8:38 the latest, anytime after that they will tell you their too busy to give a call back and you'll have to try the next day.

Feb 09, 2016
Call the department of labor!!
by: Anonymous

My boyfriend had been trying for days to get through and finally I said this is ridiculous and called the governors office who transferred me to the Dept. Of Labor and took the claim. Remember people this is because of your governor. Stop voting him in. He certainly would NOT make a good president! I personally am from Missouri and we do NOT have this problem here. I will tell you this...even after getting thru they told him he wouldn't even get his call back from the claims examiner interview until February 29th and today is the 9th of February. Absolutely crazy to me. Only the people of Jersey can make a difference! Good luck to you all!

Feb 02, 2016
Unpublished Number
by: Anonymous

They are assholes. Called my assemblyman and got an unpublished number. If we harass them too much and they change it, oh well, I'll call and get the new number.


Have at it boys and girls, time to make them earn that paycheck we paid for.

Dec 03, 2015
starting to realize its a conspiracy
by: Anonymous

Wow!! This is mind blowing, I can't believe that NJ is getting away with this. They have officially made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to open a claim for benefits. Starting to realize it likely is a conspiracy and they have designed it the way ot is to purposely block the people that legally n rightfully r trying to claim benefits that they deserve. Was laid off recently n.have Been trying daily, for over 2 weeks now,, to open my claim. I am not exaggerating, when I say I foolishly have continued to spend 6-8 hours each n every day attemting to open a claim. Not only by internet, thousands of calls to every single number they have published, but I have also drove to the office 2 times. Not once,but twice they have told me it is impossible for them to open a new claim at the office. So my 2nd visit, I pleaded with them,, twlslimg them it is impossible ,,, they have made it literally impossible for my claim to submitted then,, bc due to fact that I live in PA and that although the majority of my income for past 18 months was from NJ,, I did have a small amount earbed from PA. So im not eligible to file claim online. Have gotten the same exact message every phone call to every line/office "due to unusually high call volume, cannot take ur call at this time". Never ever has there been an option for me to hold,, or leave a message or anything. I foolishly continue to try NONSTOP, each and every day, From the time they open till close. My fingertips are raw,, and sore,, almost like the skin is wearing off. Im beyond exhausted and I guess I will have to admit defeat. Dont know anything else I can do. Cant imagine how many other ppl are faced with same thing,, n how many other ppl just gave up. Has any one else sustained and if so, any advice,, what happened,, were u finally able to open a claim? I think I am going to take a step away from this all for a day or two,, I dnk hopefully ill b back at it in a few days with some newfound energy,,and when I do, im coming in full force bc this shit is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS! Unbelievable,,, smh. I dont really kno shit sbout politics,, but I do remember how chris christie did some crazy sheisty shit with shutting down all the bridges,, so it all really makes me wonder,, lol I know I may seem naive n many ppl reading this r saying "DUH"

Aug 24, 2015
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.

Aug 24, 2015
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.

Apr 09, 2015
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!!

Apr 08, 2015
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.

Jan 22, 2013
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.

Sep 09, 2011
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.

Aug 19, 2011
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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