Another 100,000 New Jerseyans could still get the extra $300 a week in federal unemployment relief, the state labor department said on Tuesday, but they have until Thursday at midnight to certify for the benefits.
Claimants who are eligible will be notified via email and text message Nov. 11 and 12, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Emails will come from the address email@example.com, with the display name showing as NJDOL, thigh claimants should check their spam filter if they do not see an email. Text messages will come from 898-211.
Those who are notified will need to act before 11:59 p.m. Nov. 12, and anyone who did not receive the message is not eligible for the benefits.
State labor officials said on Tuesday that more than $1.2 billion in federal relief had been paid out to over 778,000 New Jerseyans.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency rolled out the “Lost Wages Assistance” program over the summer, which provides benefits of $300 a week for up to six weeks, capped at $1,800, if a person was unemployed during the weeks of Aug. 1 through Sept. 5 due to COVID-19.
“We’re pleased to be able to expand the opportunity to people who have not yet certified,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said in a Tuesday statement. “Our top priority is to get as much economic relief to unemployed New Jerseyans as possible.”
All told, the state has paid out $18.4 billion in unemployment benefits since March 21, as the pandemic triggered mass business closures in a bid to halt the spread of COVID-19. That’s forced nearly 1.8 million New Jerseyans out of work since then.
Most of those benefits came out of the $600 weekly relief under the federal COVID-19 relief bill. But those payments lapsed in July as talks stalled in Washington for an extension.
State officials warn that without the added $600, New Jersey’s economy could once again slow down as disposable income dries up and New Jerseyans tighten their belts to stay afloat.