The maximum benefit rates for New Jersey Unemployment Insurance, Temporary Disability Insurance, Family Leave Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation will be increasing in 2022, state officials announced on Wednesday.
The increased rates will be effective for new claims dated Jan. 2, 2022, and later.
In the new year, the maximum weekly benefit amount for new Unemployment Insurance beneficiaries increases to $804, from $731, the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJDOL) said.
The maximum weekly benefit for new state plan Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance claims increases to $993, from $903, while the maximum weekly benefit for new Workers’ Compensation claims rises to $1,065, from $969, the NJDOL said.
Maximum benefit rates are recalculated each year based on the statewide average weekly wage. The benefit rates and taxable wage base for 2022 reflect the $1,419.52 average weekly wage for 2020, which rose by 9.9%, largely due to the number of low-wage workers who were out of work during the pandemic and the higher wages paid to those who remained on the job.
The taxable wage base, or the maximum amount that workers and employers must pay unemployment, temporary disability and family leave taxes on, will also rise in 2022.
The level of wages subject to unemployment taxes in 2022 increased to $39,800 for both workers and employers. The same maximum applies to employers covered under Temporary Disability Insurance, the Workforce Development Partnership Program, or Supplemental Workforce Fund for Basic Skills.
The taxable wage base for workers covered under the Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance programs will increase to $151,900 for 2022.
To qualify for Unemployment, Temporary Disability, or Family Leave benefits in 2022, an applicant must have earned at least $240 per week for 20 base weeks, or alternatively, have earned at least $12,000. Benefit eligibility criteria are based on the state minimum wage in effect on Oct. 1, 2021. On Jan. 1, 2021, the minimum wage in New Jersey rose to $12/hour for most employees.
The contribution rate for state and local government entities that choose to make contributions rather than reimburse the trust fund for Unemployment Insurance benefits paid to their former employees remains at 0.6% of taxable wages for calendar year 2022.