Useful terms and definitions.

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.

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
The Appeal Tribunal hearing is the second telephone hearing and will be held if the fact-finding 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 Period
The period of time during which the weekly benefit rate and benefit eligibility is calculated. Usually the first four of the previous five full quarters preceding unemployment.

Base Year
The base year is used to determine how much you will receive from unemployment. You must have worked at least 20 weeks in which you earned $168 in the base year or you must have earned at least $8,400 to be eligible. To determine your base year, you can check

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.


The claimant is the person applying for unemployment benefits.

Claims Examiner
The person who first interviews you to determine whether you 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.


A determination by unemployment regarding your eligibility or qualification for benefits.

Denial of Benefits
If you are found ineligible or disqualified for benefits, your benefits are denied and you do not receive unemployment.

The deputy is the New Jersey Department of Labor employee assigned to conduct the fact-finding hearing.

After a fact-finding, a determination is written by the deputy based on the law and facts stating whether you are eligible or not.

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

Being involuntarily separated by your employer.

There are several types of disqualifications from unemployment benefits. The most common disqualifications are due to voluntarily leaving work without good cause, simple misconduct, severe misconduct, and gross misconduct. Receiving a disqualification either delays or completely bars an employee from collecting unemployment.

Business owners are not eligible for unemployment. If they file papers to dissolve (erase) their business, they may be eligible.


Money paid to you for working.

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.

Everybody who works for a business.

Businesses that employ people.

Work performed for a New Jersey Employer in NJ, subject to some limitations.

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.


The fact-finding is the first step in the unemployment process. A fact-finding is automatically scheduled when you apply for unemployment if you state the reason for separation was due to discharge or quit. If the employee states that they were laid off and the employer agrees, then no fact-finding will occur and benefits will be granted if you are otherwise eligible.

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 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.

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.

There are three types of misconduct under the unemployment statute – simple, severe, and gross.

Monetary Determination
A calculation that shows how many weeks you are eligible for unemployment and how much you will receive from unemployment each week.

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 decided by the department of labor. Reasons for termination or quitting are the most common.

Notice of Monetary Determination
After you apply for unemployment, you will receive this document, which shows your weekly benefit rate if you successfully secure unemployment benefits.

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.


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.

Any person in possession of 10% or more of a business. (is it 5%?)


Partial Benefit Rate
If you work part time, you will receive this higher rate from unemployment, minus the earnings made at your part-time job.

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

Partial Benefits
Benefits for people who work part-time but not full time.

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.

Phone Interview
See hearing. All hearings are done by phone.

Physician's Note
A note from a doctor excusing an absence, providing restrictions, or otherwise making an employer aware of a medical condition.

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
A claim that was opened during one period of unemployment that continues during another period of unemployment that started less than a year later.

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.


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.

Severe Misconduct
There are several actions that constitute severe misconduct, however, it is defined as behavior that is malicious and deliberate (ie. repeated violations of a company rule, falsification of records, misuse of time, etc.) If you are found liable for severe misconduct, you will be completely barred from collecting unemployment until you work in new employment for four weeks and make six times your weekly benefit rate.

Simple Misconduct
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 simple misconduct, your benefits will be delayed eight weeks from the date of your application for benefits.

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.


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.

Telephone Hearing
All unemployment hearings for unemployment are conducted over the phone. You will receive a notice stating the date and time of any hearings.


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.

Voluntary Quit
A disqualification for voluntary quit occurs when an employee leaves their job without good cause attributable to the work.


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.

Wage Requirements
To qualify for unemployment, you must have earned a certain amount of money over a certain period of time. In 2017, it was 20 or more weeks of employment and a minimum.amount of earnings which changes each year.

Money paid by an employer to an employee in return for work. For NJ unemployment, only wages on which NJ unemployment tax was paid is factored into your benefit determination.

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
The weekly benefit rate is the amount of money you will receive from unemployment if you are successful in your claim.

Work Search Requirement
To be actively seeking work, NJ requires that you submit three or more applications to employers each week. It is recommended that you keep a log of your employment search.

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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