Unfortunately, many New Jersey veterans haven’t been able to find work after leaving the military. There is some relief coming their way.

Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that will provide supplemental unemployment benefits to an ex-service member who has exhausted his or her federal unemployment benefits.

The legislation was sponsored in the State Senate by Fred Madden and Jim Beach.

“Especially in this tough economy, many New Jersey residents are struggling to find full-time employment. Unfortunately, this is especially true for our servicemen and women who have made countless sacrifices, including relocation and repeat deployments, to defend our country,” said Madden, chairman of the Senate Labor Committee. “By extending unemployment benefits to our veterans, this legislation helps remove the burden of financial uncertainty as they ease into civilian life and search for permanent work.”

If the veteran’s federal benefits expire prior to the 26 week maximum, the new law will provide additional unemployment benefits up to the maximum 26 weeks, regardless of where they stand in terms of compiling the necessary number of base weeks. Employers will not be charged an additional fee for these supplemental benefits.

“Men and women in the Armed Forces put their lives on the line to protect our nation and keep their fellow citizens safe. Many of them are - or may soon be – returning home, and we need to ensure that they receive the assistance and benefits that they fundamentally deserve,” said Beach, chairman of the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. “We are indebted to our military personnel for their heroic service, and this is the least we can do to show our gratitude and support.”

The law goes into effect immediately.