Frequently Asked Questions by State Workers on Furlough Represented by CWA

1. What do I do when I filed my initial claim and received a confirmation number, but cannot certify for weekly benefits because I received a message that the claim is in pending status or that no current claim is on file? 

The claim may still be in a pending status because it needs to be submitted or completed by Unemployment agents.  This may take time.  Please be patient and continue to try to certify for benefits during your assigned time slot weekly. Our CWA brothers and sisters in Unemployment are working hard to complete all claims and resolve issues. Once the claim is submitted and approved, weeks should be available to be certified.

2. What does it mean when I certified for weekly benefits and then received confirmation indicating that $0- was payable?

Since every one’s situation could potentially be different, this could be due to numerous issues so; you may need to speak to an Unemployment agent. But, here are some common reasons why this may have happened:

If you worked during the week in which you are certifying for, did you gross over your partial weekly benefit rate or work over 32 hours from all sources of chargeable income?  If so, there would be no benefit available for that week.

If you currently are waiting for a determination on your claim from Adjudication, credit was given for that week.  Continue to certify weekly.  If the claim is determined eligible for payment, the credited weeks may be payable (see the bottom of page 6 of the Guidance for Furloughed NJ State Workers Represented by CWA)

3. How did Unemployment calculate my weekly benefit rate (WBR)?

Your Unemployment weekly benefit rate (WBR) is based on 60% of the average of what you grossed in Unemployment’s base year. Since it is an average of 4 calendar year quarters, it may not exactly match what you are currently grossing due to increments, promotions, COLA raises, ect.  You will receive a breakdown of the quarters used and all chargeable income accrued in those quarters via mail after your claim is filed.

4. Do I certify weekly? When do I certify for benefits?

Yes, claimants can certify weekly.  Every Sunday a new schedule for certifying for benefits is posted on the Unemployment website.  The schedule may change from week to week.  On Sunday mornings, you should check when your scheduled day and time is for that week.

5. What should I do if I missed my scheduled time to certify?

Check the certifying schedule on the Unemployment website again.  There is a “Missed Your Time?” section where additional times on the same day and additional days are available for each group of social security numbers. Claimants can also certify during those times.

6. What do I do when I didn’t receive a 4-digit pin number or have forgotten my pin?

The claimant can reset their pin number by following the instructions on page 6 of the Guidance for Furloughed NJ State Workers Represented by CWA.  

7. What other way can I apply for my initial Unemployment claim?

Due to the high call volumes during this pandemic, it is recommended that you file online on Unemployment’s website.  However, you can try to call the Unemployment Call Center to file.

8. If I worked part-time during the week claimed, why might I not be paid when I certified for benefits?

If you grossed over your partial weekly benefit rate (PWBR) for the days you worked or worked more than 32 hours from all sources of chargeable income in the calendar week, there may be no Unemployment benefit available for that week. 

If the situation described above does not apply, you may need to speak to an Unemployment agent to determine why no payment has been issued.

9. I received an error message and can’t set up an account or can’t create an account. What should I do?

Try from a different device or computer. If that does not work, you may need to contact an Unemployment agent for assistance.

10. Can I file a claim on a state computer?

You should not use your state computer to file or certify for benefits. State computers should be used only for state business.  If a personal computer is not available, claims can also be filed and certified weekly using a smart device, like an iphone, android or tablet.

11. What do I do if I received a letter, email or Fact Finding Questionnaire from Adjudication?

There may be unresolved issues or clarification that is needed to determine if payment can be issued. The claimant’s response is needed.  You should follow the instructions provided and carefully answer their questions, as soon as possible. 

12. How do I certify benefits when I worked in one calendar week then, I am furloughed for the full week in the calendar next week?

To avoid potential delays, if you know that you are not working in the following calendar week after certifying for a week in which you worked, immediately after certifying for benefits (but no later than Saturday of the week in which they are claiming), you should follow the steps to Reopen/Reassert your claim. (see page 5 of the Guidance for NJ State Workers Represented by CWA)  On the Unemployment website, click “Existing users log in here” and follow the prompts to reopen your claim.

13. How do I contact an Unemployment agent?

You can call the Unemployment Call Centers at the following numbers:

Northern NJ Region: 201-601-4100

Central NJ Region: 732-761-2020

Southern NJ Region: 856-507-2340

Out of State claims: 888-795-6672 (you must call from a phone with out of state area code)

Please note: The questions & answers above reflect commonly asked or experienced issues by CWA members.  Since every worker’s situation may be different, these FAQ’s may not fit their individual situation and how their situation fits into Unemployment Law.  Claimants should also consult the “Guidance for NJ State Workers Represented by CWA” information from the Department of Labor. 

https://cwanj.org/guidance-for-furloughed-nj-state-workers-represented-by-cwa-filing-for-unemployment-insurance/

Additional information from Dept. of Labor is also available on their website: myunemployment.nj.gov/help/faqs/

>>If you are a worker represented by CWA and still have questions or need additional guidance, please click here to complete the CWA Unemployment Insurance Inquiry Form.