September 11, 2009
Re: Unemployment Insurance Extended Benefits
On August 29th, about 33,000 New Jerseyans exhausted their Unemployment Insurance Extended Benefits (UIB). Pending consideration and passage of federal legislation providing up to 13 additional weeks of Unemployment Benefits, there are currently no further assistance options available through the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD). It is estimated that an additional 3,500 to 4,000 individuals a week through the end of the calendar year will face similar circumstances.
As a result, many families will be turning to the Department of Human Services to apply for programs for which they may previously have been income-ineligible. To ease the transition for many who may be unfamiliar with the scope of services offered by DHS for individuals in need of temporary assistance, here two websites that may be useful to your residents: www.NJHelps.org and www.NJ211.org.
NJHelps allows individuals to self-screen eligibility for nearly 30 social, housing and utility assistance programs including, Food Stamps, NJ FamilyCare and Low Income Heating, Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
NJ 211 is a database of local services that is customized by person through category-specific entries (such as food assistance or health care) and by need, which is assessed through individual survey responses. NJ 211 also offers an option for individuals to talk to a professional online with ‘Live Chat’ similar to instant messaging or by dialing 211 from any phone.
Please see attached document prepared by DHS that can be distributed to residents with information on these and other important programs.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.