Unemployment backpay !
(New Jersey Unemployment Benefits)
Will I get backpay for my 7 week penalty?
My question is quite simple ... I've been searching all over the internet & I have not come up with a answer to my questions. I tried calling the NJ UI office, but like everyone else its KILLER trying to get through to an unemployment agent in New Jersey
Anyway, I was fired in July for simple misconduct, I filed my claim 2 days later (its my first time claiming unemployment), about a week after that I got a letter in the mail telling me when to call in to claim my benefits but because of the simple misconduct stamp I needed to do a phone interview!
Long story short I did the phone interview and was disqualified for 7 weeks ... after my penalty period was over I re-opened my claim for the benefits and a couple weeks later I got my first check (I was told I can claim every week - which I have), my question is will I get backpay for my 7 week penalty?
During the the penalty weeks when I got the first letter that told me the date to call & claim I did but I stopped because of the disqualification letter that was sent later ... on my claim it tells me my claim date is the day I first claimed my benefits back in July so I assume those 7 weeks would be credited back to me ...?
I've been told I should get paid for those weeks I was penalized but I've been claiming for 3 weeks now & I still haven't received the backpay.
I know I'm rushing into this and expecting too much too soon but I just want to know if I should expect it or not . I would hate to get excited about receiving a lump some of money ... just to not receive it ! thank you for your time & answer to my question !
Chris's Response: Getting Seven Weeks of Unemployment Backpay I Didn't Get While Disqualified
You're right .. simple question, so first I'll give you as simple an answer as I can, but then I'll address the the booby traps of Simple Misconduct.
A disqualification from benefits for seven weeks for Simple Misconduct in New Jersey, means just that. You're disqualified from receiving benefits for seven weeks, so why in the world would NJ unemployment pay you backpay for those weeks when any disqualification in reality, is explaining the punishment for guilt of misconduct, or lack of good cause to quit attributable to the work, or employer.
The DQ for simple misconduct (exclusive to NJ) means all you're entitled to is somewhere around nineteen weeks, or 19 times, your weekly benefit amount as needed through out the benefit year established when you originally filed a claim.
The real advantage I see is this is New Jersey unemployment and that they hung on to how things once worked there with regard to misconduct .. before the recession changed how they dealt with misconduct cases.
Before, the disqualification for misconduct was like everyone who was fired in New Jersey, was disqualified for simple misconduct.
But like many states, unemployment solvency became an issue after the recession and New Jersey, like most states, began looking for ways they could pay less out in unemployment benefits.
once a state that paid unemployment benefits more frequently, than any other state, decided to add two additional levels of misconduct severe and gross misconduct
this allowed them to treat misconduct more like other states .. with regard to the disqualifications they could now impose.
Simple misconduct still exists, and it also doesn't carry the additional burden of a disqualification that happens to a whole lot of people filing for benefits in other states, where the basic misconduct disqualification is similar to NJ's severe DQ .. that requires an individual to first return to a new job, as well as meeting an earning requirement .. before another job separation occurs that will then once again need to be adjudicated for fault .. because benefits are given and denied in general, based upon the MOST RECENT, or LAST separation from a job .. even those that last only a day.
The typical duration of benefits in NJ one can collect, is still twenty-six weeks, or 26 times the amount of a maximum weekly benefit if "totally" unemployed.
If initially found guilty of simple misconduct in NJ, there is no requirement to find a new job before you can begin collect seven weeks later .. (maybe per the NJLWD website).
However, where my concerns arise for anyone in NJ is you and an employer now have three different levels of misconduct. Simple misconduct is similar to what other states have added to their laws, or regulation to include "substantial fault" or when an employer can't meet their burden, or sustain and employees actions actually rise to a level that proves severe misconduct.
All this does is complicate for both employers and employees what isn't made clear by most states, including New Jersey in the first place. Can anyone show me where to find NJ UI regulations, board precedents, or court precedents that may of overruled the board of review?
Simple misconduct gives an employer more motivation to appeal .. because they still will be charged for benefits paid after simple misconduct .. which isn't actually misconduct by definition, to attempt to change simple misconduct .. to severe and get that added punishment in the disqualification .. that when a reasonable person thinks about is nothing more, or less than motivation to find a new job .. like reasonable people need an unemployment department to motivate them to this.
In other words, I'm saying there will obviously be some employees and employers who wouldn't want to see an appeal file when the initial finding is simple misconduct.
However, from my perspective the biggest risk is for a claimant, if a NJ hearing examiner, finds the only thing wrong with the initial determination to disqualify an individual using the DQ for simple misconduct, is the hearing decision could affirm, but modify the initial claim determination, to attach the section of UI law and disqualification for guilt of severe misconduct.
And what do you think happens if NJ, who has been known in the past, to be slow as molasses at scheduling appeal hearings, starts paying an unemployed person benefits after serving their DQ for simple misconduct when an employer appeals and the hearng is finally concluded .. and the examiner modifies simple guilt to severe guilt of misconduct.
Well, an employee could then be facing another tool at a states disposal to take care of solvency issues with it's general unemployment insurance fund .. recouping benefits overpaid erroneously.