NBC10 Responds

Delays in Unemployment Benefits Leave People Strapped for Cash

What you need to know about the process, and who you can contact for help

NBC Universal, Inc.

It’s been a tough year for Kenneth Kaczorowski. The New Jersey resident was furloughed from his job in the food service industry in 2020. He’s out of unemployment benefits, but was approved for the Extended Benefits program in December.

He’s yet to receive a payment.

“Now I’m down to four dollars,” Kenneth told NBC10 Responds.

Kenneth called the New Jersey Department of Labor and got through to a representative. He told us no one could give an explanation as to when he’d get his money.

“A lot of times it was all the same thing. They’re reprogramming the system. I’m still on line to get the money but they don’t know when,” Kenneth said.

He eventually received an email stating everything should work by his next claim date. He said he was able to file and the money came through in a few days.

Extended Benefit Delays

NBC10 Responds checked with the New Jersey Department of Labor to ask about delayed extended benefits and when people can expect to receive them.

We didn’t get an answer, but we did track down some information on the department’s website.

“Eligible claimants will be automatically enrolled into state-issued extended benefits as their federal extension ends. You do not need to contact an agent or reapply," the website states.

The website also explains that not all filers are automatically qualified for extended benefits. In that case, keep an eye on your email and keep checking the website for updates and instructions.

According to unemployment benefit experts, these delays are happening nation-wide.

If you believe you were eligible for extended benefits but did not receive an email from the state department of labor—there’s another option.

South Jersey Legal Services may be able to help you for free. Contact the organization so they can investigate your claim.

Free Legal Aid Resources

Qualification is based on income. Reach out to the community legal aid organization in your area to see if you qualify.

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