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Welcome to the LSNJLAWSM website, provided by Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ). LSNJ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit offering free civil legal assistance to low-income people in New Jersey. Find legal information by clicking on a legal topic or typing a few words into the search box.

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Unemployment Benefits Calculator


Use this calculator to see whether you may be eligible for unemployment benefits and to estimate the unemployment benefits that you may receive. This is only a screening tool, and it does not guarantee you any benefits. To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must have earned at least $11,000 in your base year or worked at least 20 weeks earning at least $220/week in your base year. If you performed agricultural work, you must have worked at least 770 hours in your base year.

There are three different “base years” that the Unemployment Division uses to determine eligibility for benefits. They are referred to as the “regular” base year, “alternate base year #1,” and “alternate base year #2.” Your eligibility for benefits is determined by evaluating your earnings under each base year, in the order listed above (“regular base year” first, then “alternate base year #1,” then “alternate base year #2”). You cannot choose which one to use. See Calculation of Benefits (from the Department of Labor & Workforce Development) for more information on the base year calculations

If this calculator says you are not eligible under any of the three base years, you may still go ahead and apply for benefits. If the New Jersey Department of Labor also finds that you are not eligible and you disagree, you may file an appeal (appeals must be filed within 10 days of the mailing of a “Notice of Determination” or within seven days of your receipt of the notice). You may also appeal if your base year earnings are not accurately reflected in the Unemployment Division’s determination of eligibility, even if you are deemed eligible for benefits.

For further assistance, please call your local Legal Services office or the LSNJLAWSM Hotline at 1-888-LSNJ-LAW (1-888-576-5529). You may also apply for help online.