unemployment claim form

Weekly Unemployment Compensation Plummets After Federal Supplement Expires

Hundreds of Thousands Doing Without Additional $600 Payment

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development paid out $316 million in unemployment benefits for the week ending Aug. 22, a sharp decline in the weekly payment total because of the expiration of the $600 weekly supplement known as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).

FPUC expired on July 25, and Congress has failed to extend it. It provided $600/week to anyone eligible for unemployment, starting April 4, and allowed New Jersey to put $8.4 billion in additional benefits into the hands of the unemployed and underemployed hit by COVID-19, on top of their regular weekly benefit. On a typical week at the height of the program, New Jerseyans would collectively receive more than $500 million in FPUC payments, compared with just $70 million in back-week payments made last week. 

The Labor Department on Wednesday announced it had applied for a grant through FEMA’s Lost Wages Supplemental Assistance (LWA) program, which provides up to $300 per week for a limited time to eligible individuals, on top of other unemployment compensation they receive. 

 “While we will take whatever steps are necessary to get as much federal assistance to unemployed New Jersey workers as possible, the FEMA program provides half the benefit and only to a fraction of unemployed individuals and families struggling under the weight of this continuing pandemic,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “It will end as soon as the funding runs out in a few weeks, it excludes people whose unemployment is not a direct result of COVID, and it requires a separate application process that has not even been created yet.”

“It makes far more sense for Congress to extend the $600 supplement, which would require us to literally flip a switch to get those benefits flowing again,” the Commissioner said.

For the week ending Aug. 22, the Labor Department received 20,175 new unemployment applications, a 21% decline from the prior week.

Of the total number of unemployment applications received1.34 million have met the monetary requirements for eligibility. Of those, 96% have received payment.

The number of New Jersey workers who have exhausted unemployment and have claimed extended benefits rose to 16,123 with the total payout to this group exceeding $37 million. Up to 20 weeks of extended benefits kicks in for eligible claimants when all other federal and state benefits have been exhausted.

The weekly totals of new unemployment claims are:    

Week   

New Unemployment Claims   

March 15-21   

155,815   

March 22-28   

206,253   

March 29-April 4   

214,836   

April 5-11   

141,420   

April 12-18   

140,139   

April 19-25   

71,996   

April 26-May 2   

88,326   

May 3-9   

69,689   

May 10-16   

42,365   

May 17-23   

34,410   

May 24-30   

26,752   

May 31-June 6  

23,166  

June 7-13  

26,392  

June 14-20  

33,004  

June 21-27  

27,965  

June 28-July 4  

47,391 

July 5-11 

38,150 

July 12-18

25,804 

July 19-25

28,063

July 26-Aug.1

16,573

Aug. 2-8

13,822

Aug. 9-15

25,405

Aug. 16-22

20,175*

Total   

1,517,911

Below is the weekly breakdown of payments (in millions):    

Week Paid  

NJ UI   

FPUC    

PUA    

PEUC  

EB 

March 15-21   

 $47.4    

NA   

NA   

NA  

NA 

March 22-28   

 $57.9    

NA   

NA   

NA  

NA 

March 29-April 3   

 $89.8    

NA   

NA   

NA  

NA 

April 4-11   

$140.7    

$154.8   

NA   

NA  

NA 

April 12-18   

$179.7    

$238.8   

NA   

NA  

NA 

April 19-25   

$211.1    

$296.3   

NA   

NA  

NA 

April 26-May 2   

$171.7    

$291.1   

$27.1   

NA  

NA 

May 3-9   

$244.7    

$502.4   

$51.6   

NA  

NA 

May 10-16   

$239.7   

$414.0   

$55.6   

NA  

NA 

May 17-23   

$236.2   

$596.9   

$112.3   

NA  

NA 

May 24-30   

$242.7   

$553.5   

$87.7   

NA  

NA 

May 31-June 6  

$255.5  

$635.2  

$56.6  

$56.6  

NA 

June 7-13  

$244.5  

$573.8  

$60.7  

$46.5  

NA 

June 14-20  

$248.9  

$626.1  

$86.6  

$37.4  

NA 

June 21-27  

$240.4  

$559.7  

$73.5  

$31.7  

NA 

June 28-July 4  

$202.9  

$536.1  

$71.7  

$31.8  

NA 

July 5-11 

$208.5 

$521.3 

$69.1 

$24.4 

$2.2 

July 12-18

$209.3

$524.5

$65.2

$22.7

$3.9

July 19-25

$197.7

$526.2

$77.0

$25.7

$4.8

July 26-Aug. 1

$192.1

$513.5

$74.7

$33.7

$6.5

Aug. 2-8

$202.6

$200.8

$86.1

$20.0

$6.2

Aug. 9-15

$175.0

$95.3

$77.8

$23.7

$7.1

Aug. 16-22

$167.3

$70.3

$52.1

$20.4

$6.7

Total   

$4,406.3

$8,430.6

$1,185.4  

$374.6 

$37.4

NA: Benefit not applicable during the indicated weeks.   

FPUC, PUA and PEUC are federal programs authorized by Congress under the CARES Act. PUA provides benefits through the end of the year; maximum eligibility is 46 weeks, including extended benefits. PEUC provides 13 weeks of federal benefits for those who exhaust 26 weeks of state unemployment. State extended benefits automatically offers an additional 20 weeks of assistance once PEUC ends.

*This represents the final number for the week ended Aug. 22. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 19,348 – is based on advanced reporting.   

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