NJ lawmaker wants to force unemployment appeals to be answered quickly

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More than two years into the pandemic, some New Jersey residents are still having trouble with their unemployment insurance claims.

A Garden State lawmaker is proposing a plan to force the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development to speed up the process of helping New Jersey residents get the benefits they’re entitled to.

No prompts, a real live person

Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Monmouth, said his measure, A3436, would require the state Department of Labor to maintain a hotline that must “be busy at a minimum, 8:30 a.m. at 5:30 at night, and you have to get a live person – no prompt, live person I want to talk to them on the phone.

He said people calling the hotline would not have to wait more than 30 minutes before being connected with a real person.

“This bill requires that these representatives meet minimum training requirements, they must be able to answer questions, to resolve questions. That’s enough,” he said.

The legislation specifies that representatives employed by the hotline should be trained to:

• Respond to general inquiries regarding the New Jersey Unemployment Insurance program and benefits
• Assist callers with specific claims questions, issues, concerns, and troubleshooting, including but not limited to assessing whether someone is likely to qualify for unemployment compensation .

• The representative should also be able to provide instructions on how to file an unemployment compensation claim and provide assistance in obtaining and interpreting information on the 1099 tax form.

• They would also be required to provide information about an individual’s pending unemployment claim, including, but not limited to, the status of the claim, potential solutions, and troubleshooting any issues regarding the job. eligibility of an individual or other barriers to the individual receiving unemployment benefits.

Hire more people

Dancer said his measure would also require the Department of Labor to hire the people needed to do this work.

“It’s not the recovery mode. It’s a disaster, a financial disaster for thousands upon thousands of hardworking New Jersey workers who have paid into insurance, and they can’t get their money back,” did he declare.

The measure would also require unemployment insurance hotline numbers to be prominently posted on the Department of Labor website.

He said that unfortunately this department is still dysfunctional

“It should never have come to this, it’s a calamity that has been ongoing and in the works for years, enough is enough.”

The dancer said he expected support from both sides of the aisle

The legislation also states that the Department of Labor must process all applications for unemployment benefits within two weeks of filing by an applicant. The current law provides that the Ministry is required to process applications within three weeks.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be just the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s a great workout.

Before you hit the trails and explore some of the suggestions from our listeners, I have a few tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you descend and encounter an uphill hiker, pull to the side and give the uphill hiker some space. An uphill hiker has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless marked as an official trail, avoid them. Going off the trail, you risk damaging the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb any wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give in to horses, but I don’t know how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey trails.

If you plan to take your dog on your hike, they must be on a leash and be sure to clean up all pet waste.

Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions on the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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