Family Leave During Unemployment
If your period of family leave begins more than 14 days after your last day of work in covered employment, you may be eligible for benefits under the Family Leave During Unemployment (FLDU) program.
To claim FLDU benefits, you must meet all of the requirements of the Unemployment Compensation Law, except being available for work.
FLDU benefits may be claimed to:
- Bond with a newborn, newly adopted or newly placed foster child
- Care for a family member with a serious health condition
The family leave program is financed 100% by worker payroll deductions. Employers do not contribute to the program.
Cost to Workers
For 2019, workers contribute 0.08% on the first $34,400 (the wage cap) in covered wages earned during this calendar year. The maximum worker contribution for 2019 is $27.52. This contribution is in the form of a salary deduction that your employer takes from your weekly wages.
For 2020, workers contribute 0.16% on the first $134,900 (the wage cap) in covered wages earned during this calendar year. The maximum worker contribution for 2020 is $215.84. This contribution is in the form of a salary deduction that your employer takes from your weekly wages.
On January 1 of each year, the wage cap changes.
If you overpay Family Leave Insurance constributions in a calendar year, you can not take credit for the overpayment on the NJ1040. You may request a refund by downloading a refund application. For additional information, write the Division of Employer Accounts, Worker Refund Unit, PO Box 910, Trenton NJ 08625-0910 or call them at 609-633-6400
In order to have a valid claim for family leave in 2020, you must have had at least 20 base weeks in covered New Jersey employment during the base period. A base week is a week in which an individual earned a minimum of $200.
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 or Disability During Unemployment claim and your family leave began during the benefit year of that claim, the date of claim used by Unemployment Insurance or Disability During Unemployment will be used on the Family Leave During Unemployment claim. If you do not have a valid Unemployment Insurance or Disability During Unemployment claim that can be used, the date of claim will be the Sunday of the week in which you took your first day of leave.
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.
To be eligible for Family Leave During Unemployment benefits, you must meet all of the requirements of the Unemployment Compensation Law, except for the ability to work.
Family Leave During Unemployment benefits are NOT payable for:
- any period of bonding or caregiving that is less than a 7 day period
- any period that you receive unemployment insurance benefits, temporary disability 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.
- any period of family leave to care for a family member who is not under the care or supervision of a health care provider
- a school employee during any period between academic years or terms or during a school-wide recess, when you have reasonable assurance of returning to work in the same or similar capacity when school resumes.
- any period you are out of work due to a labor dispute at your place of work.
If your first day of family leave is more than 14 days after your last day of covered New Jersey employment and you are not on a leave of absence from your employer, your family leave claim is processed under the Family Leave During Unemployment program. Claims filed under this program are governed by both the Unemployment Compensation and 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 being available for work.
Unless your family leave is for bonding immediately following a pregnancy-related disability period, the application for benefits consists of up to two parts. It should be completed by you, and your family member's treating physician(if the claim is for care). If the claim is submitted to us with missing information or without information from your physician, it will take longer to process. The claim must be submitted to our office within 30 days of your first day of family leave. If you mail a claim late, provide a written explanation as to why the claim was delayed.
Family leave for bonding immediately following a pregnancy-related disability has a one page application that requires less information. Once you and your physician notify us of your actual delivery date, an application for New Mother Bonding will be sent to you 35 days after you delivered. You may file for Family Leave During Unemployment benefts once you recover from your pregnancy-related disability.
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 family leave claim that begins in 2019, the maximum weekly benefit rate is $696. For a family leave claim 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 or Disability During Unemployment claim and need to take family leave while unemployed during the benefit year, you may be paid Family Leave During Unemployment benefits against that claim. In general, you will receive the same weekly benefit rate as you were receiving on your Unemployment Insurance or Disability During Unemployment claim. If you do not have a current Unemployment Insurance or Disability During Unemployment claim, the filing of a valid Family Leave During Unemployment claim will start a benefit year for you.
Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA)
You may receive up to six times the weekly benefit rate. You may receive no more than six weeks of Family Leave Insurance benefits in a 12-month period. The 12-month period is the 365 consecutive days starting on the first day of a valid first claim for Family Leave Insurance benefits.
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 or Disability During Unemployment claim exists, family leave claims received with complete information are determined within seven to ten days from the date of receipt in this office. When an unemployment or Disability During 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 taking leave to bond with your newborn, newly adopted, or newly placed foster child, or to care for a seriously ill family member. You may receive benefits until you return to work, exhaust your maximum benefit entitlement, or the benefit year of your claim expires. Family Leave 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 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.
If you did not initially claim your full six weeks of benefits, you may claim additional benefits by completing a Claim for Continued benefits which will be mailed to you. Remember, Family Leave During Unemployment benefits are paid in full weeks only. A full week runs from Sunday through Saturday.
A Notification of Information Change form will be mailed to you. This form should be completed and returned to our office if you change your address, your family leave ends, you report to the unemployment office as 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 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 and time of an appeals hearing. Be sure to be available at the phone whose number you provided on your claim. If you will not be available during your scheduled hearing, you must notify the appeals office as soon as possible so your hearing can be rescheduled.
Your telephone interview with an Appeal Tribunal examiner will not cost you anything. It is not necessary to have an attorney present during 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.
Family Leave 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 Family Leave During Unemployment in writing at:
Family Leave 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 family leave 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.
Your family member may be required to submit to a physical examination by a state-appointed physician to support your family leave claim. The examination is a routine procedure of this agency to insure that family leave insurance benefits are being paid properly and do not affect the relationship between you and your family member's health care provider.
There is no charge to you or your family member for this examination and the results of the examination will be kept confidential. Your family member will be referred to a doctor located as close as possible to their home.
Important: Your family leave benefits may be terminated if your family member is scheduled for an examination and does not report.