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Old 04-30-2014, 11:09 AM
 
9 posts, read 70,611 times
Reputation: 14

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I previously was approved to collect unemployment, and NJUI told me to apply for bi-weekly benefits for the first time today, which I did. After applying, I was met with an unpleasant surprise:

"Your claim for unemployment insurance benefits has been received. Your claim is not payable at this time.

If you have filed an appeal and are waiting for the results, you have been given credit for claiming the week(s) shown below.

If you have not filed an appeal, an agent will need to review your claim before your benefit payment can be processed. Upon review, we may need to contact you for additional information. This may take several days.

In the meantime, please do not attempt to file again for the same weeks either via the Internet or by telephone. If you do, your benefits may be delayed."

I have not filed for an appeal; I didn't even know there was a problem. Afterwards, I rechecked my claim status, and got an every-bit-as-unpleasant message:

"An issue has been identified on your claim. Please attend the non-monetary appointment listed below so a claims agent may resolve this issue."

They scheduled a phone meeting approximately 2 1/2 weeks from now. Good thing I realized it now, I suppose...

I can only think of one thing that this conflict could be about, but it's a flimsy one. During my last meeting with my boss, I asked him if the termination was considered a lay off, and he said yes, and actually told me that he wouldn't do anything to block unemployment benefits. On my application, I checked off that I was laid off, which is true, as far as I know. However, one of his buzz-phrases is accusing employees of 'lack of productivity' (everyone at the office has heard that from him before), and I wonder if that's what he told NJUI instead of me being laid off. That's all I can think of. If he wants to claim my productivity is lacking, I have a massive folder full of work I've done that I would be happy to show NJUI...

I'm wondering if there's any general advice that can be offered to me, going into the appointment. I'm terrible at conflict, and the thought of not getting benefits is a very ugly one.

Last edited by RunawayTrain; 04-30-2014 at 11:11 AM.. Reason: Clarification.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
23,560 posts, read 50,172,798 times
Reputation: 18212
First, in NJ you WILL get benefits, either a week or two after the interview or eight weeks from discharge if NJ suspects there is simple misconduct involved. NJ does not deny benefits, entirely. Read this:

Department of Labor and Workforce Development | Requirements for Payment <br> Fired (Discharged)

Often employers cite poor performance in their response to NJ - in which case NJ investigates "misconduct." Intentional poor performance is considered misconduct. Most employer's can't prove this. Inability to perform to expectations is NOT misconduct.

Sometimes this can be resolved in the initial interview, more often not. Usually, when employer cites misconduct, it's an automatic 8-week dq from date of discharge. After those eight weeks have elapsed, NJ begins paying. Your monetary award under the claim is not reduced - just takes longer to collect. You can, of course, appeal the dq. If you win, NJ will pay those eight weeks retro. NJ appeals can be won. Most people don't bother because NJ takes about four months to hear an appeal.

You should be getting something from NJ on the issue involved in your claim before the interview.

Don't worry about it. For now, the foregoing is just a guess on what NJ's issue might be. Delay of benefits pending investigation is a common, everyday occurrence in NJ.

Be sure to tell the interviewer you tried your best and you always did the best job you could.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 04-30-2014 at 12:26 PM..
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:01 PM
 
9 posts, read 70,611 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for the response, Ariadne; informative, much appreciated!

I managed to get in touch with an agent. It's my understanding that my former employer told NJUI that I was fired, though I considered myself laid off. The agent stressed that it may just be considered a matter of miscommunication, and I may receive my full benefits. I don't recall committing any sort of misconduct, and I hope it doesn't become a he-said-she-said thing between my former employer and I. If they claimed misconduct, I would certainly dispute it.

I recall my boss (well, now former boss) telling me that if anyone asks about my time there, he'd tell people that I did my job, showed up everyday, and so on: so if he claimed misconduct, that would confuse me a bit.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:08 PM
 
14,508 posts, read 26,156,050 times
Reputation: 2562
It's free for him to tell potential new employers that you did your job. However, it costs him money to not try to fight your UI. Never believe or listen to your employer when it comes to UI matters. They often don't have a clue, or worse, are out to steer you wrong.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:45 PM
 
9 posts, read 70,611 times
Reputation: 14
Just got the letter from NJUI in the mail about the upcoming appointment... their reason:

"You may have been separated for misconduct in connection with your work."

I feel dizzy and like I'm going to throw up. I never committed any sort of misconduct, and during my last meeting with the boss, he told me that he would tell anyone who asks him about me that I always showed up to work, put in honest effort, and abided by the rules.

This one hurts...

Last edited by RunawayTrain; 05-02-2014 at 04:46 PM.. Reason: Clarification about who the letter came from.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
23,560 posts, read 50,172,798 times
Reputation: 18212
Don't be dizzy and don't throw up. This stuff happens ALL THE TIME IN NJ.

Don't take it personally. Most employers, these days, cite poor performance (i.e., misconduct) - whether true or not - to try to keep their UI taxes from going up. It only sticks if it is willful.

But, the interview is he said/she said - and NJ usually just issues a dq - because NJ almost always favors the employer.

By the time NJ holds the interview and renders a decision, the 8-wk dq will have almost elapsed. Your claim is dated the Sunday of the week you were discharged if you filed that same week. Otherwise, count eight weeks from date of discharge. NJ will begin paying benefits at the end of the ninth week.

So, even if NJ assesses an 8-week dq, you'll be collecting pretty soon. You can then appeal - which will take NJ four to six months to hear. Meanwhile, you keep collecting. If the 26 weeks haven't elapsed by the time NJ issues a favorable decision, you get paid retro. Otherwise, you've already collected all your money.

The system is totally skewed to the employer in NJ. What's happened to you has happened to thousands - as threads on this board will attest.

Don't give this more weight than it deserves. It's just business - not personal.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:29 PM
 
9 posts, read 70,611 times
Reputation: 14
The non-monetary phone interview is tomorrow afternoon. "You may have been separated for misconduct in connection with your work." remains the most specific explanation I've gotten, so if there were accusations by my former employer made against me, I'm going in not knowing them.

I'll be sure to update on how the interview goes.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:43 AM
 
9 posts, read 70,611 times
Reputation: 14
Update:

I checked my Claim Status today (through the NJUI website), and the phone interview has been removed... it's been replaced with:

"Your claim has been pended. Please call a Claims Agent at 732-761-2020, 201-601-4100, or 856-507-2340. If you reside out of state, please contact a Claims Agent at 888-795-6672. Claims Agents should be contacted during our normal business hours from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays."

I'm not sure what this means.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:59 PM
 
9 posts, read 70,611 times
Reputation: 14
Things appeared to go smoothly enough. The employer cited dissatisfaction with the time it took for me to get my work done, but when asked if he felt I wasn't performing to the best of my ability on purpose... after a pause (which put a lump in my throat), he said no and that he believes I came in and worked everyday in good faith.

At that point the interviewer thanked the employer, allowed him to leave the call, and told me to continue claiming benefits and that I'd have my verdict within 10 days, and that I could appeal if I disagreed with the judgment made on my claim.

'Wait and see' time.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
23,560 posts, read 50,172,798 times
Reputation: 18212
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunawayTrain View Post
The employer cited dissatisfaction with the time it took for me to get my work done, but when asked if he felt I wasn't performing to the best of my ability on purpose... after a pause (which put a lump in my throat), he said no and that he believes I came in and worked everyday in good faith.
So, your employer was honorable after all. Your benefits should resume shortly. Check the website tomorrow or thereafter. In this case, the decision should be favorable and immediate.
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