New Jersey Rolling Out New, Easy-to-Use Online Unemployment Insurance Application

Governor Phil Murphy, U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Acting Secretary Julie A. Su, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, and New Jersey State Chief Innovation Officer Dave Cole today highlighted the successful launch of a new online Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial application, completely remodeled with the goal of improving user accessibility.

In 2021, USDOL selected New Jersey as one of two states, along with Arkansas, to participate in the Claimant Experience Pilot, leading a national effort to modernize the federal unemployment insurance system to improve the claimant experience and streamline the delivery of unemployment benefits. Today’s announcement marks the culmination of years of rigorous review and extensive user testing at every stage.

NJDOL worked alongside the New Jersey Office of Innovation and the New Jersey Office of Information Technology to engage with claimants and create a new unemployment application system that meets the needs of residents and can be adapted to quickly address future challenges. The new unemployment application was rolled out incrementally over the past several months to ensure an improved experience for all applicants, and the application was fully phased in on April 11, 2024.

The new application incorporates several upgraded features to streamline and enhance the user experience, including:
  •  The ability to save and pause the application to finish later.
  • Availability in English and Spanish.
  • Maximized accessibility for assistive devices. A mobile-friendly format enables the application to be completed on a phone, tablet, or computer. As many as 50 percent of people apply for benefits using a mobile device, and more than 70 percent of people who access the application in Spanish use a mobile device.
  • Revised questions to make it easier for claimants to understand and answer accurately.
  • Removal of 19 percent of questions to make finishing in one sitting more likely.
  • A new landing page relevant to a claimant’s current situation and next steps.
The new UI application will save applicants hours of time in filing their claims and receiving their benefits. Now that the pilot program is complete, the State remains focused on continuing to support UI modernization efforts.
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