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Family and Relationships

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Home Page > Family and Relationships > Domestic Violence > Domestic Violence: A Guide to the Legal Rights of Domestic Violence Victims in New Jersey

F. Unemployment

You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you have to leave your work because of domestic violence. When you file a claim at the Unemployment Office, you must claim that you left work because of domestic violence and you must give the Unemployment Office at least one of the following items:
  • A copy of your restraining order.
  • A copy of the police record of any calls you made because of domestic violence.
  • Documentation that the abuser has been convicted of one or more of the offenses listed in the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act: homicide, assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, harassment, stalking, or lewdness.
  • Medical documentation of the domestic violence, such as a doctor’s report or a report from an emergency room where you were treated for injuries resulting from acts of domestic violence. (Note: When you go to an emergency room for treatment, be sure to explain that you are a victim of domestic violence and ask the medical staff to write that on their report.)
  • A written certification or affidavit from a certified Domestic Violence Specialist or the director of a domestic violence agency stating that you are a victim of domestic violence. (See the list of domestic violence agencies in New Jersey.)
  • Other documentation or certification of the domestic violence that can be provided by a social worker, your minister, pastor or priest, a shelter worker, or other professional who has helped you to deal with the domestic violence.

If you can produce one or more of these documents, and you are otherwise eligible for unemployment benefits, you should be able to collect benefits.

If you have been turned down for unemployment benefits, you can appeal. You will get a notice explaining how to file an appeal. Your appeal must be filed within seven days after you receive the notice or within 10 days after the determination was mailed. The appeal period will only be extended if you can show good cause for filing late. Good cause exists only in situations where you can show that the delay was due to circumstances beyond your control.

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Copyright © 2010 Legal Services of New Jersey

This information last reviewed 11/2/11


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