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Update Regarding Shared Work Furlough Program Unemployment Insurance

Dear Rutgers Shared Work Furlough Program Participants,

We are providing clarification regarding two communications you may have received directly from the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL).

BPC-189 Request for Refund of Unemployment Benefits (Overpayment Notice)

If you have received this notice in the mail AND the reason for the request for refund indicates “Your Claim for Benefits Was Cancelled,” you do not need to repay the unemployment benefits you received to the NJDOL.

Employees who received this notice with the reason listed above may have filed their claim after the official start date of the shared work furlough program they participated in. As a part of the NJDOL’s unresolved claims resolution effort, the NJDOL must cancel the original unemployment claim and re-file it to align with the official start date of the shared work furlough program in order to ensure participating employees are paid for the appropriate number of days. Having the claim cancelled automatically triggers the Overpayment Notice to be mailed to employees.

Only those notices with the request for refund indicating “Your Claim for Benefits Was Cancelled” may be ignored. If you received an Overpayment Notice with a different request for refund reason you should not ignore it and should proceed as instructed by the NJDOL.

Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation Program (MEUC Program)

The Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, available from the U.S. Department of Labor, provides an additional payment of $100 per week to eligible unemployment claimants for each week they were unemployed between January 2, 2021 and September 4, 2021 provided that they meet certain eligibility criteria.

Employees who participated in an approved Rutgers Shared Work Furlough Program during this period may be eligible to apply. To be considered eligible, you must:

  • Have received regular or extended unemployment benefits between January 2, 2021 and September 4, 2021, and
  • Be able to show at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment* (non W2) in the tax year immediately prior to filing your unemployment claim.  (If your claim started in 2020, you need to have netted at least $5,000 in 2019; if your claim started in 2021, you need to have netted at least $5,000 in 2020.)

To qualify for this supplemental payment, you can follow these steps from the NJDOL:

  • Sign in to claimant Self-Service page on the NJDOL’s website here and check the opt-in box for the MEUC application.
  • Look for an email within a week from the Division of Unemployment Insurance, which will seek to verify your eligibility.
  • Click on the link in the email, sign-in, and complete the eligibility questionnaire.
  • Attach your tax return showing at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment during the prior tax year.

*Self-employment is earning income directly from one's own business, trade, or profession rather than as a specified salary or wages from an employer.

As a reminder, to be eligible for this payment, you must show at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment for the year prior to filing for unemployment.

If there are additional questions regarding unresolved unemployment claims or the Rutgers Shared Work Furlough Program, please contact HR_Operations@hr.rutgers.edu.

Sincerely,

Vivian Fernández
Senior Vice President for Human Resources