Weekly $300 in COVID federal jobless aid going out in matter of days for NJ

Daniel J. Munoz//January 6, 2021//

Weekly $300 in COVID federal jobless aid going out in matter of days for NJ

Daniel J. Munoz//January 6, 2021//

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Hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents out of work amid COVID-19’s second wave could see the added $300 in federal weekly jobless benefits as soon as next week, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

This new COVID-19 relief bill, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, calls for up to 11 weeks of federal jobless relief, slashed from the $600 that expired in July to the current $300 a week. Anyone out of work between Jan. 2 and March 13 will get the weekly $300, on top of regular state benefits.

The CARES Act extension President Donald Trump signed Dec. 30 also provides an 11-week extension for freelancer and gig worker unemployment benefits. And it allows for another 11 weeks that claimants could receive money under 13 weeks of unemployment after claimants have burnt through their initial 26 weeks of aid.

There are 312,000 New Jerseyans getting freelancer benefits, known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and 175,000 getting federal extended benefits, known as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor.

Nearly 2 million New Jerseyans filed for unemployment benefits since the start of March, when Murphy ordered a litany of business closures meant to halt the spread of the virus across the state. New Jersey’s unemployment rate peaked at 16.3% in April, its highest in decades.

Since March 21, the state Labor Department distributed more than $20 billion in state and federal jobless aid, including nearly $8.9 billion under the weekly $600 from the federal government.

Deposits can appear in claimants’ bank accounts as soon as Jan. 12, the state Labor Department said on Jan. 6. Once payments are processed for claimants, they can see the deposits within two to three business days, which does not include Saturday and Sunday.

New Jersey Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo estimated in the labor department’s Jan. 6 statement that the added $300 per week payments would benefit “hundreds of thousands of unemployed residents, who are struggling to find work as the pandemic lingers.”