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DeAngelo Measure to Ensure Timely Decisions on Unemployment Insurance Benefits Advances

Bill Requires Initial Notification to Be Issued No Later Than Three Weeks from Receipt of Claim

(TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Deputy Speaker Wayne P. DeAngelo sponsored to establish a deadline for the issuance of determination notices to applicants for unemployment benefits cleared the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

"When someone's out of a job and facing financial hardship, unemployment benefits may be the only thing that keeps the lights on and puts food on the table," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex).

"Making sure people get their benefits sooner will limit the strain on jobless workers as they try to get back on their feet."

The bill (A-3438) would require the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to make the initial determination of a claim for unemployment benefits and notify the claimant no later than three weeks from the date when the claim is received. Under current law, such a determination must be made "promptly."

"Unemployment insurance cannot function as the safety net it's intended to be if people have to wait indefinitely for benefits," said DeAngelo. "New Jersey residents should be able to rest assured that benefits will be available in a timely fashion should they need them."

The measure was advanced by the Assembly Labor Committee in March. The bill will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.

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