New Jersey's 40th Legislative District

Senator Kristin Corrado

Senator Kristin Corrado

Senators Corrado and Weinberg Call for Personal Service to Relieve Unemployment Benefits Crisis

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Claimants Are Finding it Impossible to Prove Their Identities Online

Frustrated by the growing number of residents who are having their unemployment benefits blocked, Senator Kristin Corrado and Senator Loretta Weinberg today called on the Department of Labor and the Murphy administration to open unemployment offices for in-person sessions so unemployed workers can have their claims settled.

Sen. Kristin Corrado and Sen. Loretta Weinberg called on the Murphy administration to open unemployment offices for in-person sessions so workers can have their claims settled. (Pixabay)

Corrado said applicants are reporting their claims have been flagged as fraudulent, and they have to prove their identities before the funds will be released. Without in-person access to unemployment personnel, they are being directed to an online system that does not work.

“The Department of Labor has bragged about identifying more than a quarter million fraudulent unemployment claims. I’m afraid some, maybe most of them are being held up without merit,” said Corrado (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic). “It shouldn’t be this difficult for hardworking taxpayers to confirm their identities.

“New Jersey residents can walk into a Motor Vehicle Commission location, present the appropriate documentation, and walk out with a drivers’ license,” Corrado continued. “There’s no reason they shouldn’t be able present their social security cards and photo IDs at unemployment office to prove their identity and have their payments released.”

The state recently hired a company on a no-bid contract so claimants could provide the necessary documents electronically, but the system hasn’t solved the problem.

“People are angry. They have paid into the system for years, and now that they need the money, they can’t get it,” said Weinberg (D-Bergen). “Residents who submitted their identifying documents many weeks ago are now being told NJDOL changed the fraud email portal and they will have to start all over.

“They are going to go back into the queue and will be forced to wait for another month to six weeks for an answer. It is exasperating. Instead of solving problems, the Department of Labor has only made things worse,” Weinberg continued.

“Too many people who should be receiving unemployment payments are still being caught in a maze of bureaucratic ineptitude,” Corrado added. “If the Department of Labor was a business, they would be bankrupt. We cannot tolerate any more delays that prevent families from receiving the benefits they have earned.”

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