Top unemployment benefits to jump 10% in 2022 — to $804 a week

Payments for disability, family leave and workers’ comp increase, too

Those collecting unemployment benefits in 2022 will see a 10% increase in their benefits, effective for new claims dated Jan. 2 and later.

Here’s a look at the maximum weekly amount to be awarded:

  • Unemployment: $804 (up from $731);
  • Temporary disability: $993 (up from $903);
  • Family leave: $993 (up from $903);
  • Workers’ comp: $1,065 (up from $969).

Who qualifies

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. As of Jan. 1, 2021, the minimum wage in New Jersey rose to $12 an hour for most employees.

The 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% from 2019, largely due to the number of low-wage workers who were out of work during the pandemic and the higher wage 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, also will 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.