How Long Does It Take to Receive an Unemployment Check in New Jersey?

If you lose your job, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits, depending on the reason you lost the job, how much you earned and whether you are available for a new full-time job. In New Jersey, it takes several weeks to get your first unemployment check after you apply for benefits; once you begin receiving benefits, you can receive them once every two weeks.


Initial Claim

When you open a claim in New Jersey, it may take a few weeks for the New Jersey Department of Workforce Development to determine whether you are entitled to unemployment compensation. After you file for unemployment, you may be required to have a monetary interview to determine whether you made enough money to receive unemployment. The Department of Workforce Development may also interview your employer to determine whether your reason for separation qualifies you for unemployment compensation. You may have to file for continued benefits every week while waiting for New Jersey to make its decision.


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Waiting Period

Once your unemployment claim is approved, you must wait one week before you begin receiving benefits. During the one-week waiting period, you must file a claim for continued benefits as usual. After the waiting period ends, if you still qualify for benefits based on the information in your claim for continued benefits, you will receive your first unemployment check. You will not get paid for the waiting period.


Claiming Benefits

After the first week, you should begin receiving benefits every two weeks. You must file a new claim on a bi-weekly basis to receive benefits. Certify that you were available to work and actively sought employment during the two-week period and report any income you received, such as income from a part-time job. You can file online or via telephone. You will receive your claims check within two or three business days after you file your claim.


Payment Options

As of the publication date, New Jersey does not issue paper checks. You may have your funds directly deposited into your bank account or onto a prepaid debit card. If you do not provide a bank account when you are approved for unemployment benefits, you will receive a prepaid debit card. New Jersey directly deposits benefits on the same day it loads them onto debit cards, so there is no difference in how quickly you will receive these funds.