It appears that you are in a truly frustrating position, and I believe
you have a legitimate claim for unemployment benefits. I am not a
licensed attorney, but I can present you with the results of my
research into the New Jersey unemployment process. Hopefully, you
will go into your hearing armed with these results and the proper
paperwork, and the department will find in your favor.
The New Jersey Department of Labor has a website that describes the
application and appeal process in great depth. It is located at:
The information we are looking for is contained on this page. I am
going to excerpt from that page for ease of use now:
"Requirements for Payment
If you voluntarily quit your job without 'good cause connected with
the work,' or if you voluntarily retire, you may be disqualified for
benefits. 'Good cause connected with the work,' means that your reason
for leaving was not only a good reason but was also directly related
to the job.
For example, a person quits work to move to another state because his
or her spouse got a new job. While this is a good personal reason to
quit, the reason for quitting is not connected with the work and the
person would be disqualified.
To remove a disqualification for voluntary leaving, you must return to
work for at least 4 weeks, earn at least 6 times your weekly benefit
rate, and then become unemployed through no fault of your own.
If you quit your job, or if you voluntarily retire, you will be
scheduled for a claims examiner interview. The examiner will determine
if you are entitled to benefits."
The department is likely to assess two factors when you go to the hearing:
1) Did this applicant quit for "good cause"?
There are two things in your question that might indicate a good
reason for quitting. First, there is the labor issue where the
principal cut back on your hours and responsibilities. I do not know
the ins and outs of the politics in that school district, but I
believe you may have a hard time selling this reason to the hearing
committee. If you do choose to use this as one of your good cause
reasons (and I would honestly recommend against it), be very careful
not to come across as bitter or spiteful. Instead, present it as if
it is a widespread problem throughout the school that creates an
unmotivated and unrewarding work environment.
Second, there is the issue of the job not sending your paperwork to
the insurance company. I believe THIS is the issue that shows "good
cause" for your departure. Be sure to bring as much supporting
paperwork as possible to the hearing. You will want dates that you
interacted with your job and the names of the people that you
interacted with, dates that you interacted with the insurance and the
names of those people. You will also want all mailings that you have
received from the insurance company and your job, including check
stubs if you have them. Assuming your claims examiner is a reasonable
person, you should have no problem proving good cause.
2) Did the applicant quit because of something "connected with the work"?
Clearly, you did quit because of something connected with the work.
You want them to know that you quit because your employer was NOT
holding up to their end of the bargain in sending your disability
information in a timely fashion. A WORD OF CAUTION: The focus of why
you quit has to be on your employer's negligence. If you imply to the
examiner that your disability was the cause of your quitting, there is
a chance they will say, "He became sick out of work, his sickness
caused his disability, he quit because of his disability, therefore he
didn't quit for a reason connected to work." In that case, they could
deny you. Keep the focus on the employer's negligence.
Here are your talking points for the hearing with the claims examiner:
1) My company failed to cooperate with me in providing me the
disability benefit to which I was entitled.
2) Because of that lack of cooperation, I was forced to part ways
with that employer so that I could pay my bills.
Of course, they will ask all the other standard questions: are you
able to work, available for work, actively seeking work, etc. But
those are much easier to answer than the main question, "Why did you
leave your company?"
I sincerely hope I have been of some assistance to you, and I wish you
the best of luck with your application process and hearing.
SEARCH STRATEGY: unemployment office "new jersey"