Disability During Unemployment
If you become totally disabled more than 14 days after your last day of work in covered employment, you may be eligible for benefits under the Disability During Unemployment (DDU) program.
In order to have a valid claim for disability, you need to have paid into the program through your employment and meet minimum gross earnings requirements. These requirements may change year to year.
As of January 2020, you must have had worked at least 20 weeks earning $200 or more in covered New Jersey employment during the base period. If you do not meet the minimum weekly requirements, you may still be eligible for benefits if you earned a minimum of $10,000 in covered employment during the base period.
The regular base period is the first four quarters of the last five completed quarters prior to your date of claim. If you have a valid Unemployment Insurance claim and your disability began during the benefit year of that claim, the date of claim used by Unemployment Insurance will be used on the Disability During Unemployment claim. If you do not have a valid Unemployment Insurance claim that can be used, the date of claim will be the Sunday of the week in which you became disabled according to your medical certification.
Alternate Base Period
If you do not have 20 base weeks or have total earnings of at least $10,000 during this Regular Base Period, you may still have a valid claim if you have enough earnings in one of the following:
Alternate Base Period #1: The four most recently completed calendar quarters before the date of claim.
Alternate Base Period #2: The three most recently completed calendar quarters prior to the date of the claim and the weeks in the filing quarter up to the date of claim.
Both New Jersey workers and employers contribute to the cost of Temporary Disability Insurance coverage.
Cost to Workers
For 2019, workers contribute 0.17% on the first $34,400 (the wage cap) in covered wages earned during this calendar year. The maximum worker contribution for 2019 is $58.48. This contribution is in the form of a salary deduction that your employer takes from your weekly wages.
For 2020, workers contribute 0.26% on the first $134,900 (the wage cap) in covered wages earned during this calendar year. The maximum worker contribution for 2020 is $350.74. This contribution is in the form of a salary deduction that your employer takes from your weekly wages.
Cost to Employers
The contribution rate for employers varies from 0.10% to 0.75% of the wage cap.
For 2019, employers contribute between $34.40 and $258.00 on the first $34,400 earned by each employee during this calendar year.
For 2020, employers contribute between $35.30 and $264.75 on the first $35,300 earned by each employee during this calendar year.
On January 1 of each year, the wage cap changes.
To be eligible for Disability During Unemployment benefits, you must meet all of the requirements of the Unemployment Compensation Law, except for the ability to work.
Disability During Unemployment benefits are NOT payable for:
- any period that is less than seven consecutive days.
- any period you are not under medical care. You must be under the care of a legally licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist, chiropractor, optometrist, psychologist, certified nurse midwife, or advanced practice nurse.
- any period that you receive unemployment insurance benefits, family leave insurance benefits, any benefits from a disability or cash sickness program or similar law of New Jersey or any other state or the federal government.
- any period when you receive full salary or paid time off.
- any period during which you perform any work for remuneration or profit.
- any period during which you would be disqualified under the Unemployment Compensation Law for voluntarily quitting your job, termination due to misconduct or gross misconduct, refusal of suitable work, or fraud.
- work related disabilities. However, if your disability is work related and your employer's workers' compensation carrier denies you benefits or if the workers' compensation carrier stops benefit payments, you may file a claim with the Division of Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance.
- any period of disability due to willfully and intentionally self-inflicted injury, or injury sustained in the perpetration by the claimant of a criminal act under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice.
- any period you are out of work due to a labor dispute at your place of work.
Applications are accepted online or by mail or fax. Instructions are included on the application. Read all the instructions carefully before completeing the application. If filing by mail or fax, don't forget to sign and date the form.
All claims are reviewed by our state plan office. If you become disabled more than 14 days after your last day of covered New Jersey employment, your disability claim will be routed to be processed under the Disability During Unemployment program. Claims filed under this program are governed by both the Unemployment Compensation and the Temporary Disability Benefits Laws. To qualify for benefits under this program, you must meet all the requirements of the Unemployment Compensation Law with the exception of ability to work. You must also be unable to do any type of work and be under the care of a legally licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, chiropractor, psychologist, or advanced practice nurse.
The application for benefits consists of three parts. It should be completed by you, your treating physician, and the employers you have worked for in the last six months. If the claim is submitted to us with missing information or without information from your physician or employers, it will take longer to process. The claim must be submitted to our office within 30 days of your first day of disability. If you mail a claim late, provide a written explanation as to why the claim was delayed.
You must include your name and Social Security number on all forms and correspondence.
Your monetary entitlement will be calculated and mailed to you. Your monetary determination will list all New Jersey subject employers for which you worked during the four calendar quarters of your base period and the wages they reported for you. You should review the monetary determination carefully as soon as you receive it. If you disagree with the indicated monetary entitlement, or if any employer information is incorrect or incomplete, you should file a written appeal.
Weekly Benefit Rate (WBR)
Your weekly benefit amount is 60% of your average weekly wage earned during your base period. For a disability that begins in 2019, the maximum weekly benefit rate is $696. For a disability that begins in 2020, the maximum weekly benefit rate is $713. Benefits are paid for full calendar weeks, beginning Sunday and ending Saturday.
If you have an Unemployment Insurance claim and become disabled while unemployed during the benefit year, you may be paid Disability During Unemployment benefits against that claim. In general, you will receive the same weekly benefit rate as you were receiving on your Unemployment Insurance claim. If you do not have a current Unemployment Insurance claim, the filing of a valid Disability During Unemployment claim will start a benefit year for you.
Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA)
You may receive one week of benefits for each base week you worked in your base period, up to a maximum of 26 weeks. As of January 1, 2020, a base week is a week with earnings of at least $200.
The maximum you can collect in Unemployment Insurance, Disability During Unemployment, and Family Leave During Unemployment benefits combined is one and one-half times the maximum benefit amount of your initial Unemployment Insurance or Disability During Unemployment claim.
If you do not qualify for the maximum weekly benefit rate, you may be entitled to a dependency allowance. Dependency benefits are payable at 7% of your basic weekly benefit rate for your first dependent and then at 4% for each of the next two dependents (you may claim no more than three dependents). If your spouse or civil union partner is employed during the week your claim takes effect, you are not eligible for a dependency allowance.
A dependent may be:
- an unemployed spouse or civil union partner;
- unemployed, unmarried children* under the age of 19;
- unemployed, unmarried children* under the age of 22 if attending a public or other nonprofit educational institution full time.
You must provide proof of dependency.
You will be sent instructions on how to qualify and apply for dependency benefits after you file your claim.
*includes a stepchild or legally adopted child
In general, when an Unemployment Insurance claim exists, disability claims received with complete information are determined within seven to ten days from the date of receipt in this office. When an unemployment claim does not exist, additional information must be gathered and it may take approximately three to four weeks to issue a determination.
Benefits are payable for the period you are certified disabled by your doctor. You may receive benefits until you recover, return to work, exhaust your maximum benefit entitlement, or the benefit year of your claim expires. Disability During Unemployment benefits are paid in full weeks only. A full week runs from Sunday through Saturday.
- Benefit payments are issued to debit cards sent to you by the Bank of America.
- Once your claim has been determined eligible for benefits, and you continue to be certified as disabled by your physician, payments are usually issued on a weekly basis. However, there are times during your claim where your payment may cover a period of more than one week.
- No federal income tax is withheld from your benefits unless you request this deduction when applying online or by mail.
To continue receiving benefits, New Jersey Law requires proof that you are under continuous medical care. Therefore, a Claim For Continued Benefits - DDU will be mailed to you during the course of your claim. To continue receiving Disability During Unemployment benefits, you must have your doctor complete the form and return it to this office. The frequency of these requests is dependent on your occupation, the severity and nature of the disability, and the projected duration of the disability as reported by your certifying physician.
A Notification of Information Change form will be mailed to you or you can download it. This form should be completed and returned to our office if you change your address, recover from your disability, your family leave ends, you report to the unemployment office as able and available for work, or you return to work.
Remember: If you have received a debit card, you must also notify Bank of America of your new address. The bank can be contacted through their website at www.bankofamerica.com/cashpay or by telephone toll free at 1-866-213-4074.
If you are pregnant, eligibility for Temporary Disability Insurance benefits is determined in the same manner as for any other disabling condition. When you have stopped working and your doctor certifies that you are disabled, apply for Temporary Disability Insurance benefits.
For a normal pregnancy, benefits are usually payable for four weeks before the expected delivery date and six weeks after the actual delivery date (eight weeks if you delivered by Cesarean section). A doctor may certify that you are disabled for a longer period if:
- you experience specific complications related to pregnancy.
- you have another simultaneous disability.
- you are physically unable to do your regular job.
- Do not file your claim before your doctor says that you are disabled and unable to work.
- Do not file your claim until you have actually stopped working.
- Your claim may be denied if you file before you become disabled or before you stop working.
If you disagree with any written determination you receive from the Division of Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance, you may file an appeal. Each determination contains a written statement concerning your appeal rights. All appeals must be in writing. An appeal sent by fax or email is also acceptable.
Your appeal must be received or postmarked within seven days after delivery or ten days after the date of the mailing of the determination except, an appeal from a Demand for Refund. Any appeal from a Demand for Refund must be received or postmarked within 20 calendar days after delivery of the notice or 24 days after the mailing date of the notice.
When an appeal is filed, you will be notified by mail of the date, time and location of an appeals hearing. Your appearance before an Appeal Tribunal examiner will not cost you anything. It is not necessary to bring an attorney to the hearing, but you can be represented by an attorney or any other person you choose. You will be notified of the results of the hearing by mail.
Use the Notification of Information Change - DDU to report the following: a name or address change, receipt of paid time off, receipt of pension benefits, receipt of Social Security Disability benefits, or if you have recovered from your disability, have returned to work, or have reported to Unemployment Insurance that you are able and available for work.
Download the Notification of Information Change - DDU
A Claim For Continued Benefits - DDU is mailed to you when additional medical certification is required to evaluate your claim for continued benefits. Download this form if your Claim for Continued Benefits was not received, was misplaced, or was destroyed. No additional benefits will be authorized until the completed form is received.
Download a Claim For Continued Benefits - DDU
Please be sure that you Social Security number is listed on each page. Return your completed forms to:
Disability During Unemployment
P.O. Box 956
Trenton, NJ 08625-0956
or FAX to 609-292-9209
Disability During Unemployment benefits are subject to federal income tax. You may voluntarily request to have 10% of your weekly benefits withheld. If you are interested in having federal income tax withheld from your weekly benefits, contact Disability During Unemployment in writing at:
Disability During Unemployment
P.O. Box 956
Trenton, NJ 08625-0956
At the beginning of the year you will be able to view and print Form 1099-G which will include the disability benefits you received during the previous calendar year. Use this statement when completing your federal income tax return.
Benefits under the New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance program are not taxable for New Jersey state income tax purposes.
During the course of your disability, you may be required to submit to a physical examination by a state-appointed physician. The examination is a routine procedure of this agency to insure that disability insurance benefits are being paid properly and do not affect the relationship between you and your doctor.
There is no charge to you for this examination and the results of the examination will be kept confidential. You will be referred to a doctor located as close as possible to your home.
Important: Your disability benefits may be terminated if you are scheduled for an examination and do not report.