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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.

NJ, 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.

Comments for Unemployment backpay !

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Jun 07, 2016
Back pay
by: Anonymous

I was approved for unemployment for November 6th and I was doing my weekly claim online and I haven't received no money in 7 months so I called them and told them 4 days later I received this letter telling me that my benefits started on November 6th 2015 Indy will be ending November 6th 2016 into keep making my weekly claims

Backpay? Really?

I get it, your BYB to BYE would be the typical year long unemployment claim.

But when benefits are denied, or allowed it's being based upon the separation from a job. When it's a new claim, it's generally the separation that caused the claim to be filed in the first place and the state is mandated to send first, a monetary determination telling you how much your weekly benefit will be, then they investigate the cause for separation and send the non-monetary determination telling you and the employer, who also is asked to respond to why you filed the claim, if, you are eligible to receive a weekly benefit amount based on the conclusion of that initial investigation and determination of benefits.

So, here you are in June of 2016, and you're just now deciding to ask questions .. like where's my benefits?

When did you receive this "letter"? What was the mail date of that letter? And most importantly .. was it a monetary, or non-monetary determination and if so, what did it tell you aside from just keep filing weekly for benefits?

When someone doesn't communicate what they do know when writing their story, or question .. What's the point of asking me .. if I insist it might be better to read some other Q&As first.

Nov 15, 2015
Can I get paid for my 15 weeks penalty if my case was dropped from gross misconduct to simple misconduct?
by: Anonymous

Hello, can someone tell me if I will we denied or approved by Maryland review board after lower appeals agreed with my company firing me for gross misconduct, then later dropped it to simple misconduct for initiating the Union board to come in? So later I received a letter saying I was penalized for 15 weeks, however im receiving my benefits now but I'm awaiting the board of review to appeal or deny me of the 15 weeks penalty which its been 320 days and I still haven't heard a response.what's bothering me is that I was fired for initiating the union buy three weeks later the company brought a union in...please help me understand what my out come will be.

Have you tried exploring the potential outcome for yourself at the Maryland UI digest?

That you did not provide any details, or findings from the tribunal appeal hearing, it would be difficult for me to say what you might expect, since a board appeal is basically, a written argument based on the record of the first appeal hearing, including the findings and conclusions of the hearing officer who, if I'm also assuming correctly, had the authority to amend the disqualification for gross misconduct to the simple type of misconduct not rising to the level to be considered "gross".

I'm also assuming 15 weeks is probably the max number of weeks for a regular misconduct finding.

But, that the hearing officer could of used his/her discretion to reduce the number of weeks to a lesser amount .. might be the issue you're now fighting on.

Oct 19, 2013
Social Security and Unemployment
by: Anonymous

I went back to work and was fired the same day but i dont know why..i didnt ask because i'm afraid of my boss she is rude and disrespectful. I was put back on social security but i have a phone interview with unemployment. Could i possibly get both benefits at the same time one for disabilty and one for getting let go from my other job of 8 years...also she treated me so bad i want to file a letter or something to make sure she didnt do this and she is going to get away with it...she will continue to do this to other workers i wondered if it was because i wasnt a certain race. Im lost but i could use the money..thanks

If you would like to talk about it .. so I can ask you a few questions as indicated because of reasons indicated here.

Mar 27, 2013
do i have to worry
by: Anonymous

but the benefits coming from my last job which close down. I just was working for the temp 3 months. I'm trying to reopen my claim.

It's always the merits of the last separation from a job that controls the claim going forward .. even if the claim was begun with a layoff.

So, that you originally filed for benefits because you experienced a "lack of work" is no longer the separation that determines whether you'll be able to start collecting the remainder of benefits.

It's the separation from the temp assignment. And if I could move comments .. this conversation would be under temporary work issues.

Temporary work is actually "subsequent employment" to the start of a claim. Your most recent employer becomes the temp agency and temp agency FIGHT unemployment benefits tooth and nail using every reason imaginable because the "business model of leasing out it's employees gives way to a constant barrage of "lack of work claims because they don't have enough suitable temp assignments to send all their employees to.

Therefore, if you take a temp assignment you have to pay double attention to protecting your claim, not to mention that many states have created special provisions that cause a temp employee to of quit "without good cause" when they can't prove they contacted the employer (temp agency) for further work at the end of an assignment.

Mar 27, 2013
do i have to worry
by: Anonymous

I was working for this temp agency, an the job they find for me,I been there 3 months. I love the job, but it was grave yard shifts. but here's the problem. my engine goes in my I call my temp to let them know what happen to by the way,there's no buses running that time at night. so I would have to leave this site an hopefully you guys can find me another day time they say they would let me now I had the phone interview an she told me in ten days they would let me know. Is there a good chance I might when?

Forget that it's a temp agency for the moment, the type of employer that drives me nuts ..

I always think a person trying to get benefits should be concerned as only 30 percent actually collect.

And given the reason you quit the assignment (transportation problems) understand that getting to and from work is generally thought of as the responsibility of the employee who knew the terms and conditions of employment upon acceptance.

Fulfilling the burden of good cause to quit is .. to say the least, an undertaking trying to document all the ways you first tried to "preserve" and keep the employment.

Temp agencies, given the type of employment they offer are experts at responding to legitimate lack of work claims and stopping folks from collecting between assignments.

Your claim wouldn't take any tricks to deny .. just the truth.

I'm going out on a limb here to say I think things look rough for your chances.

Mar 26, 2013
how long will it take after phone interview to get back pay
by: Anonymo

I just did my Phone interview. an she told me to contuinue to claim my benefits. an by 10 days you should received an letter in the does that mean I won my phone interview?

No, not necessarily.

It means you were told to keep filing and expect the adjudicator's (the interviewer) determination in 10 days or so.

Even if a person is denied you can't be paid for any week you didn't file a continuing claim for benefits .. even if you don't receive the benefits then, you would receive them as backpay if you appeal and win the hearing reversing the adjudicator's determination.

Feb 05, 2013
Im in the same situation
by: Anonymous

i also received the 7 week penalty. If you do not claim during those weeks they will extend your penalty (they want to see 7 weeks claimed that you will not get paid for). These are PENALTY weeks so you need to claim them or you will never be paid for them. After the 7 weeks are up (since your claim was disqualified).

Just so those dealing with two other levels of New Jersey misconduct know this might not be the case for them.

The seven week disqualification .. and yes, penalty is for simple misconduct.

New Jersey altered UI statutes however, to reflect three different levels of misconduct which has substantially brought down the stat'es recipiency rate.

Simple, severe, and gross misconduct are now .. all on the table for employers to use to discharge. Only for simple misconduct do you have to only serve the penalty weeks ..

Severe and gross misconduct also carry the need to return to work and earn a multiple of your weekly benefit amount before you can collect.

Ironically, NJ is saying simple misconduct is that which you aren't warned ab out by the employer .. that is an interesting play on words for what I'd call an unsustainable burden of proof for the employer.

New Jersey unemployment disqualifications for misconduct.

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