Takeaway: Important information below on: 1) Resources for the unemployment process; 2) Checking the status of your application; 3) Victims of unemployment fraud; 4) Problems creating a new account; 5) Follow-up emails from NJDOL to “resolve issues”; and 6) Designating direct deposit for your payments.
Q&A Sessions about Work-Sharing and Filing for Unemployment
We’re back to update you about how we’re fixing problems with work-sharing, but before we get to that, we want to recognize what we accomplished last week. The majority of the nearly 2,000 faculty members eligible to participate in work-sharing are signed up for unemployment payments. Dozens of problems with eligibility for work-sharing were fixed. You likely won’t get payments until next week at the earliest, but our program is underway. We want to thank you all for your patience and persistence in making this happen—and in advancing our union’s priorities.
For those of you who are still experiencing problems, look below for answers.
1. Resources for the Unemployment Process
- Instructions to Check Your Claim Status
- UHR’s Updated Unemployment Filing Instructions
- Our Union’s Annotated Unemployment Filing Instructions
- Union Form to Report Problems with Applying
- Union Form for Faculty Who Applied via the Automated Phone System
- Instructions for Selecting Direct Deposit
2. Checking the Status of Your Application
Many of you have applied for unemployment and are waiting for your claim to be approved. You can follow UHR’s directions to check your claim status; it will read “Filed” when you are approved. The New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) may take some days to approve all claims, especially if you got into the system by phone. During this time, your claim status will be “Pending.” For those who applied by phone, please fill out this google form so we have a record of when you applied. If you applied before this morning, and your status says there is no claim on file, fill out this google form and give us as much information as you can about when and how you applied.
3. Victims of Unemployment Fraud
NJDOL has a list of known victims of unemployment fraud, but we aren’t sure how long they will take to pre-clear you. We know of a couple of fraud victims who applied and were approved, but until we get word that all the known victims of fraud have been cleared, we recommend that you do NOT file for unemployment yet. We’ll let you know as soon as we know anything more. And remember: you will not be penalized for these delays. Anyone who is approved will receive all the payments for the full duration of the work-sharing program.
4. Problems Creating a New Account
Some of you who tried to apply online have still not been able to complete the application because you can’t set up a new account. Please fill out this google form and give us as much information as you can remember about the problems you encountered, including where in the process you were stopped from applying and what the error message said.
5. Responding to Follow-Up Emails from NJDOL to Resolve Issues
Some of you received emails from NJDOL marked “E-adjudication” or indicating that there are “Unresolved Issues on your Claim” that ask you to complete a form. This is a routine email that indicates NJDOL thinks you answered a question incorrectly. You need to complete the form linked in the email and indicate if you answered a question inaccurately.
These “unresolved issues” are almost always the result of people making a mistake with questions on the standard unemployment form that don’t make sense in our situation. Unfortunately, NJDOL doesn’t have a special form for people on furlough in a work-sharing program. Their questions are meant for people who have lost employment. If you keep this in mind, it will help you answer the questions correctly. Here are a few questions that we know faculty have had problems with:
- Are you able and willing to work full time? (please answer “yes”)
- Do you expect to be recalled by this employer? (please answer “no”)
- Are you receiving benefits from a pension or retirement fund (unless you are getting a pension from another institution, please answer “no”; some of you were mixed up because you are contributing to a retirement fund, but you are not receiving benefits from it).
Have the UHR instructions on filing for unemployment handy to help you answer the questions. Unfortunately, though, the follow-up forms from NJDOL ask for some of the same information from the original application, but with different wording. Here is some information you may need for these follow-up questionnaires:
- Employer address: Rutgers University NJ, c/o Corporate Cost Control, P.O. Box 1180, Londonderry, NH 03053
- Employer phone number: (800) 207-6926
- Last day physically worked with employer: 04/17/2021
- Date of separation from employer: 04/17/2021
- Your rate of pay: This is the gross earnings for the last 12 months that the UHR instructions tell you to gather from your myRutgers portal.
- Type of pay: Annual
- Reason for separation: Select “Other” and enter: “Hours reduced—COVID-19-related”
- Please explain why you were separated from your job: Hours reduced—COVID-19-related
6. Designating Direct Deposit for Your Unemployment Payments
If you had to apply by phone because you don’t have a New Jersey state ID, you didn’t have a chance to designate direct deposit as the method for your unemployment payments. Click here to see the instructions for creating a four-digit PIN (different from the one you may have created when you first applied), creating a new account, and changing the payment method.
We have heard from some of you who had problems with the online instructions in step 2. However, the automated phone system seems to have worked for everyone we’ve heard from. So we recommend you skip “Step 2 for Online: Create a PIN” and jump down to “Step 2 for the Interactive Voice Response System: Create a PIN.”
Once again, we thank you for working through this frustrating process with us. If you haven’t found all the information you need here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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