Ever since the pandemic, some unemployed New Jersey residents have been clamoring for the opportunity to speak to a Department of Labor representative in person about unresolved problems that have dragged on for months or years.

At long last, the state Labor Department has started allowing anybody who wants an in-person appointment to get one.

Labor Commissioner Rob Asaro-Angelo said the Department back in March began reaching out to claimants who had been waiting for extended periods of time for their cases to be resolved. But now the system has been opened up to everybody who has filed a UI claim that is still pending.

How to get an unemployment office appointment

He said if you want to schedule an in-person appointment at a One-Stop Career Center, go online to your claim status page, which is at myunemployment.nj.gov, click check claim status, and click on the button to schedule an appointment online.

 

Asaro-Angelo said scheduling an appointment should not be a big deal.

“I believe there are appointments available there at all times. It might not be tomorrow or the next day but there’s definitely appointments available throughout the state,” he said.

He said initial unemployment claims in New Jersey are coming down to where they were before the pandemic began, “so it’s clearly a better time for workers in general, and certainly has reduced the load and burden on our staff to be able to reach out to claimants.”

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You won't wait long

Asaro-Angelo said the average time for a claimant “with a regular, clean claim” to get paid is 2 to 3 weeks but he acknowledged some people may scoff at that statement because they may have particular issues that are complicated.

He said overall things are running much more smoothly than they had been.

“Because now we have the option for them to come in and have an appointment in person, obviously things are getting better, we have more time for agents to reach out to claimants proactively.”

Filling out an application has been simplified

He also pointed out that the Department of Labor has a new unemployment application “to make it easier to understand some of the governmental jargon on the application.”

He pointed out work is continuing to improve the online claims status page, so people can see a chart that explains where their claim is, what the next steps are and what the holdup may be.

“Because so much of the angst and anxiety about unemployment benefits is what is going on with my claim, I don’t have to tell you that David, I know you hear it from your callers all the time.”

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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