Singleton Calls For Quicker Turnaround Time For NJ Unemployment Claims

TRENTON, NJ — Senator Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) wants the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) to speed up the turnaround time for unemployment claims and is calling for a conduct performance review of the Division of Unemployment.

Singleton is partnering with fellow State Senators Fred Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden), Joseph Lagana (D-Bergen) and Andrew Zwicker (D-Mercer) to sponsor a package of bill that seeks to improve the processing of unemployment claims in New Jersey amid the spike in filings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Over one million New Jerseyans were out of work at some point during this pandemic. Even worse, some still have not seen one dollar of their unemployment benefits," said Singleton, who represents Mount Laurel in the Legislature. "While no one could have predicted the consequences of this pandemic, the unemployment system is woefully outdated, and the NJDOL staff was simply not plentiful enough to address the full scale of this crisis."

"We must make this investment in our unemployment system now. The men and women of New Jersey have waited long enough," added Singleton.

The package of four measures would:

  • Allocate $50 million to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development from federal assistance to improve the unemployment insurance benefit claims processing capacity of the unemployment insurance program following the spike in benefit claims filings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Direct the State Auditor to conduct a performance review audit of the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance in the NJDOL. The audit would include an analysis of the office's use of federal and State allocated funding, a determination of whether the existing personnel of the office is adequate to meet the statutory mandate of the office and an evaluation of the efficiency of the office's internal operations.
  • Enforce the timely payment of unemployment compensation benefits.
  • Provide oversight and improvement of the administration of unemployment compensation.

"This legislation is in response to unacceptable processing delays and wait times at the Department of Labor. It will provide much needed relief to claimants by expediting and streamlining the determination and appeals process and by providing more options for claimants to speak directly with Department staff to resolve issues," said Madden. "Unemployment compensation is a system that is meant to help people, and these measures will help the program live up to its purpose." 

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