In New Jersey, if your first family leave day comes more than 14 days after your last day of employment, the leave is usually processed under the FLDU program. FLDU stands for Family Leave During Unemployment and is a provision that allows state residents to receive payments during an unapproved leave of absence. Read on to learn more about the unemployed family leave in New Jersey. Contact The Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi if you need help resolving an employment case.
Family Leave During Unemployment Program
The Family Leave During Unemployment program in New Jersey covers claims filed by unemployed residents. Claims are usually governed by the state’s Disability Benefits and Unemployment Compensation Laws. Essentially, you can file for benefits too:
- Care for a seriously ill family member.
- Bond with a newly adopted child, newborn, or newly placed foster child.
- Deal with matters related to sexual or domestic violence experienced by you or a loved one.
Do You Qualify?
The requirements for this program are set by the New Jersey Department of Labor. If you were recently approved for Disability During Unemployment or Unemployment Insurance, you already qualify for Family Leave During Unemployment benefits.
Employers in the state are required to report employee wages at the end of each calendar quarter. When considering your claim, the Department of Labor will usually review your reported earnings for the last 5 quarters before the first date of your family leave. In 2021, you qualified if you had earned at least $220 per week after working 20 weeks. You could also qualify if you have earned $11,000 in the first 4 quarters – a period called the base year.
How Much Will You Receive?
Your earned wages during the 5 weeks prior to your family leave will determine how much you receive in weekly benefits. If you have not been collecting Disability During Unemployment or Unemployment benefits during the year of your application, your weekly benefits will be equal to 60 percent of your weekly wage. The total amount must not exceed the maximum rate for that year. In 2021, the maximum FDLU weekly benefit rate was $731.
The Families Coronavirus Response First Act
Only nine states in the US and Washington, DC have paid family leave programs. This list includes New Jersey, which also has a paid leave program for unemployed residents. On the federal level, Democrats have been trying to push for paid leave programs in the Senate. The move is in response to a survey from the Morning Consult and Bipartisan Policy Center that shows that 37 percent of unemployed people in the country are willing to resume work sooner if they are offered paid family leave.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government offered emergency paid leave to qualifying applicants under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. There are talks of establishing a similar program – The Families First Act – through a tax credit or as a social insurance program to offer paid leave to families across the country.
Visit the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi
At the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi, we handle a wide range of cases involving the FMLA and NJFLA acts. We are ready to answer any questions you might have about unemployment family leave in New Jersey and how the laws pertain to your rights. Contact us today at (973) 453-4060 to discuss your situation with an experienced employment law attorney.