Unemployment Law Glossary


Able and Available
Being physically and mentally cleared to return to work, with or without restrictions.

ABT Benefits
Additional Benefits during Training. These are additional benefits paid by the Department of Labor upon their approval to attend certain school or job training programs.

Actively Seeking Work
Applying to jobs each week. The Department of Labor prefers three or more job applications to be made each week. You must keep a record of your job applications.

When an unemployment decision is appealed, the decision of the lower level can be affirmed or reversed. If a decision is affirmed, it means that the lower level decision was found to be correct. There are several levels of appeals that can take place in the unemployment process.

Adjudication Center
The adjudication center is where the claims examiners are located. All unemployment hearings are conducted by phone. There are no in-person hearings for unemployment until you reach the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division. There are several adjudication centers in the state.

Alternate Base Year
A different way to calculate unemployment benefits if you are not monetarily qualified under the base year.

If an unemployment decision is not favorable you may appeal, which means to ask a higher agency or court to reverse of the previous decision. If it is unfavorable to your employer, they can also appeal.

Appellate Division
The intermediate division of the New Jersey Superior Court. The appellate division hears appeals from Board of Review decisions.

Appeal Tribunal
The Appeal Tribunal is the first appeal level, and they will hold a hearing if the fact-finding determination is appealed.

Appeal Tribunal Hearing
An Appeal Tribunal hearing will be held if any initial determination is appealed. This hearing often has the employer on the phone at the same time as you and can include witnesses and cross-examination. This is the last telephone hearing you will have in the unemployment process.

Available for Work
If an employer were to hire you tomorrow, you could start work.


Base Year
The base year is used to determine how much you will receive from unemployment. Your base year is the four quarters prior to the quarter prior to the quarter in which you applied for unemployment benefits. To determine your base year, you can check https://www.myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/before/about/who/.

BC10 Form
A form given to employees by employers explaining the right to claim unemployment.

BC3E Form
A form submitted by the employer explaining why an employee is no longer employed.

Money paid to you for unemployment benefits.

A brief is a legal document prepared by an attorney that describes your arguments with regard to eligibility for unemployment

Board of Review
The Board of Review is the final appeal level in the Department of Labor. The Board of Review hears appeals from the Appeal Tribunal.

BR-20 Form
A form submitted by your lawyer or other representative if they are charging a fee for representation.

Bureau of Benefit & Payment Control
The part of the Department of Labor that is responsible for issuing Waiver of Refunds, Request for Refund of unemployment benefits owed to the Department of Labor, and conducting hearings on fraud investigations.

Benefit Determination
The benefit determination determines whether you have made enough earnings in employment to qualify for a valid unemployment claim and how much your claim will pay each week if you are eligible (see Weekly Benefit Rate). The amount required for a valid claim changes each year. To determine whether you have a valid unemployment claim, you can check https://www.myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/before/about/who/.


The claimant is the person applying for unemployment benefits.

Claims Examiner
Claims Examiners review claims and request information from claimants to determine whether claims are valid and whether claimants are eligible for benefits.

Claims examiner interview
The Department of Labor may schedule you for a claims examiner interview. In this interview, a trained claims examiner will ask you and your employer important questions regarding your employment and your separation from employment to determine whether you should be disqualified from benefits.

Continuation Pay
In some cases, an employer will agree to pay an employee through a certain future date despite not requiring the employee to continue working. You are not eligible for benefits while receiving continuation pay.


Decisions are issued by the Appeal Tribunal and Board of Review regarding the outcome of appeals of determinations.

Deputies are claims examiners who make initial determinations of claim eligibility and validity. Deputies can conduct fact finding interviews by telephone and/or email.

A determination is a written statement of claim validity or eligibility by a deputy or claims examiner. There is a very limited timeframe to appeal adverse determinations.

An inability to perform some or all of the work you were performing due to a physical or mental condition.

Disability During Unemployment
If you become disabled while collecting unemployment, the Disability During Unemployment program can provide benefits even though you are not able and available to work.

Another word for termination or fired.

There are several types of disqualifications from unemployment benefits. The most common disqualifications are due to voluntarily leaving work without good cause, misconduct, gross misconduct, and not able, available, or actively seeking work. Receiving a disqualification can delay or completely prevent a claimant from collecting unemployment.

Doctor’s Note
A doctor’s note is required if you left your job for medical reasons or for some qualification conditions under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.


E-Adjudication Form
A form sent by email requesting additional information regarding employment, earnings, or other issues related to an unemployment claim. Also known as a Claimant Form.

Wages paid on a W-2 on which New Jersey Unemployment tax (“NJSUI”) is paid.

Effective Date
The date in which an employer’s official records show the end of your employment. This may not match your actual final day of work.

Eligibility Requirements
NJ unemployment has many requirements to be eligible. The most basic requirement is that during the base year, you have worked 20 or more weeks, earned a certain amount of money, and are currently unemployed or not employed full time.

Any business for which you had earnings during your base year.

Work performed in New Jersey for earnings.

Documents or testimony that support the claims of the employer or employee.

Extension of Benefits
The state or federal government can decide to pay benefits for a longer period of time. Extensions are not always available or available to all claimants.


Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
A program available during the COVID-19 pandemic that provided additional benefits in the amount of $600 and/or $300 a week for unemployed claimants during the pandemic. Also known as “FPUC”.

A fact-finding is automatically scheduled when you apply for unemployment. Fact-findings can be performed via telephone or email.

When your employer tells you they are discharging you for a reason other than lack of work or job elimination.

Making a false claim in order to collect benefits that you would otherwise not be entitled to.

Full Time
When you work 32 hours a week or more.


Gross Misconduct
This is defined as committing an act that would be considered criminal in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. If you are found liable for gross misconduct, you will be completely barred from collecting unemployment until you work in new employment for eight weeks and make ten times your weekly benefit rate.


A statement made by somebody other than the person testifying.

The process by which unemployment takes testimony from you and your employer to make a determination on your unemployment eligibility.


Identity Verification
Due to an increase in identity fraud cases, the Department of Labor may require you to verify your identity via the website ID.me. A link to do so is sent by email. Failure to verify your identity when requested will result in the withholding of benefits.

Identity Proofing
At all unemployment hearings, the deputy will ask the claimant several questions to confirm their identity. Common information requested includes social security number, date of birth, and address.

Imminent Discharge
When your employer tells you they are discharging you within 60 days. If you quit in lieu of imminent discharge it is not disqualifying.

IP Address
Connecting to the internet gives your device an IP address. The Department of Labor can see where you are claiming from based on your IP address. Claiming from outside the state can result in a delay or denial of your benefits.


You are not eligible for unemployment benefits if you are in jail.

Job Orientation
Unemployment requires that every claimant attend mandatory job orientation, during which the Department of Labor assists the claimant in preparing their resume and conducting their job searches. Failure to attend this mandatory orientation can lead to the delay or denial of payment of unemployment benefits.


Lack of Work
One of the primary reasons for a layoff, it is when your employer has too many employees or not enough work to continue your employment.

Laid Off
When you lose your job due to a lack of work, business closure, reduction in force, or other means of job elimination.

LWD (The Department of Labor and Workforce Development)
The part of the NJ government responsible for the administration of unemployment.


An action done with the intent to cause harm to the employer or which it should have been obvious would cause harm to the employer.

Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA)
The total amount of benefits you can receive from unemployment for your claim.

This is defined as a wanton or willful disregard for the employer’s interest or intentional violation of an employer’s rules or policies. If you are disqualified due to misconduct, your benefits will be delayed eight weeks from the date of your application for benefits.

Monetary Interview
A monetary interview can be scheduled for a variety of reasons and are to confirm that you have made enough earnings and to determine how much you will receive in benefits.


Non-Monetary Issues
There are many non-monetary issues that need to be adjudicated by the Department of Labor. The reason for separation and availability for work are the most common non-monetary issues.

Notice of Receipt of Appeal
Once the Appeal Tribunal receives your appeal, you will receive a notice stating that they have received it.

Notice of Telephone Hearing
After receiving the Notice of Receipt of Appeal from the Appeal Tribunal, you will receive a notice informing you of the date and time of your hearing. All hearings take place over the phone. There are no in-person hearings.


Objection to Benefit Charges
If the issue “Objection to Benefit Charges” is listed on a Notice of Phone Hearing, it means the Employer is appealing a Claimant’s eligibility for benefits.

One-Stop Career Center
Resource centers implemented throughout the state of New Jersey by the Department of Labor for assisting claimants with unemployment and job searches while receiving unemployment benefits.

In some rare instances, you can receive an overpayment. The state will require any overpayment to be paid back to the state unless you can prove that you were in fact entitled to all payments you received.


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
An alternate criteria for qualification for unemployment benefits created by federal law during the COVID-19 pandemic. This program ended on September 6, 2021. Also known as “PUA”.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Extensions of unemployment benefits created by federal law available during the COVID-19 pandemic. This program ended on September 6, 2021. Also known as “PEUC”.

Partial Benefit Rate
The partial benefit rate is 20% higher than the weekly benefit rate. If you work part time while collecting unemployment, you will receive this higher rate from unemployment minus the earnings from your part-time job.

Part-Time Work
Work for less than 32 hours per week.

Pay in Lieu of Notice
Some employment contracts require a period of notice prior to terminating an employee. Employers can pay employees for the amount of time required by the contract and ask the employee not to continue working effective immediately.

A pension is a benefit paid by the employer that is not automatically paid out. If you elect to receive pension benefits while unemployed, it can reduce or eliminate your unemployment benefits.

Personal Reason
Quitting for personal reasons can disqualify a claimant from unemployment benefits. Some personal reasons include caring for a relative and moving.

Poor Performance
When an employee does not perform the job to the expectations of the employer despite their best efforts. An employee terminated for poor performance can be eligible for unemployment.


Unemployment works in 4 quarters: January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December.

When an employee stops working for an employer by their own decision.


Reason for Separation
Why an employee is no longer working for an employer. This is usually either due to termination, quit, or layoff.

All unemployment phone interviews are recorded and are part of your unemployment record.

If a claimant receives benefits and it is later determined that they were not qualified or not eligible for those benefits, the Department of Labor can require the return/repayment of those benefits.

Reopened Claim
Unemployment claims are valid for 52 weeks. If a claimant becomes re-employed before collecting all available benefits on an unemployment claim and becomes unemployed again within 52 weeks of initially filing, they can re-open their claim to collect the rest of their benefits.

An employee who retires is not eligible for benefits, as they are not considered actively seeking work. Voluntary retirement packages often disqualify claimants from unemployment.

Request for Refund
If the Department of Labor determines that you were ineligible for benefits you received, they will send a Request for Refund explaining why you owe a refund and listing each week you owe a refund for.


Seasonal Employment
Temporary employment which ends due to a lack of work after a certain time.

Some employers will pay employees a specific amount of money upon the dismissal or discharge of the employee. This can affect your unemployment if it is considered continuation pay.

Social Security
These are benefits paid by a different government agency after reaching a certain age. They can impact your unemployment benefits.

Social Security Disability
These are benefits paid by a different government agency after becoming disabled. They can impact your unemployment benefits.

Working for somebody that you are married to typically does not count as employment or wages for purposes of unemployment.

Suitable Work
Unemployment expects that all people who apply for benefits will accept a suitable job when it offered. If you are offered a suitable job and turn it down you may not be eligible for benefits for that week and two weeks thereafter.

Summary of Accounts
A notice that states how much money is owed to the Department of Labor due to a Request for Refund, when the refund was generated, and how much money has been paid towards the amount owed.


Tax Refund
An amount paid by the state and federal governments if you pay too much tax. If you have an unemployment refund, unemployment can take your tax refunds to repay them.

Timeliness of Appeal
There are strict deadlines to appeal any determination or decision made by the Department of Labor. Failing to appeal within these deadlines may lead to your appeal being dismissed.


Unemployment Compensation
An insurance program run by the government to provide money to people who become unemployed through no fault of their own.

Unemployment Refund
If you collect any unemployment benefits it is later found that you were not entitled to or eligible for those benefits for any reason, then you will be sent an unemployment refund notice. This notice will ask you to pay back a specific amount of benefits that have already been paid out.


While on vacation, a claimant is not considered available to work and cannot claim benefits.

Voluntary Leaving
Quitting your job by your own choice. If you have good cause for voluntarily leaving work, you may still be eligible for unemployment. If you are disqualified for voluntarily leaving work without good cause attributable to the work, you will be disqualified for benefits until you have worked at least 8 weeks in employment and have earned 10 times your weekly benefit rate.


A tax form issued to employees at the end of each year regarding all earnings made from an employer.

A tax form issued to employees at the beginning of their employment providing important information to the employer regarding the payment of taxes.

Wage Garnishment
The Department of Labor may reduce or withhold unemployment benefit payments under certain circumstances, including if the claimant owes any child support or a repayment to the Department of Labor.

In certain very limited circumstances, claimants may be eligible for a waiver of a refund to unemployment. Most commonly, waivers are granted due to total disability or death.

Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA)
The amount of money you will be paid by unemployment for each week in which you remain eligible and qualified for unemployment and in which you are fully unemployed.

Weekly Certifications
Each week, you must call in or go online to claim your benefits. This involves answering 7 questions regarding your unemployment.

Weekly Benefit Rate (WBR)
The amount of money you will be paid by unemployment for each week in which you remain eligible and qualified for unemployment and in which you are fully unemployed.

Worker’s Compensation
Payment from an employer or employer’s insurance to an employee for an injury suffered on the job. If you are fired while collecting worker’s compensation, you may be eligible for unemployment.

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