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Am I eligible for sick leave, family leave, or temporary disability insurance if I or a family member have been impacted by the outbreak?

Last Updated: 05/28/2020

The State of New Jersey has created a benefits eligibility tool to help you understand what benefits programs and job protections are available to you during the COVID-19 outbreak.

You can also visit nj.gov/labor and read about the state and federal laws and benefit programs that may apply to you. There you will also find a helpful chart clarifying different COVID-19 scenarios and the available protections and benefits in English and Spanish along with steps to apply for benefits.

Programs Available To Help

New Jersey has among the most comprehensive Earned Sick Leave, Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance laws in the country, which cover all employees -- full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal.

In addition, a new federal law passed in response to the coronavirus emergency requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees and most public employers to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency childcare FMLA leave.

NOTE: NJ Earned Sick Leave, emergency federal paid sick and emergency FMLA childcare leave are paid by your employer directly. Meanwhile, Unemployment, Temporary Disability and Family Leave benefits require an application to the State of NJ. Individuals should apply for the program that best fits their situation as applying for the wrong one could cause delays.

Additional COVID-19 Programs

If you're still employed, you may be eligible for the new federally mandated emergency paid sick leave and emergency FMLA childcare leave.

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees and most public employers to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) for childcare.
  • Employers pay their employees for the emergency leave and employers can take advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse employers, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing the leave.
  • See NJDOL's publication What NJ Workers Need to Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for more details.

If you take family leave, when you return to work, you are generally entitled to return to the same position you held before leave. Your employer may not retaliate against you because you took or attempted to take leave under the NJFLA. To find out more or to file a complaint, go to NJCivilRights.gov or call 973-648-2700.

You may also be eligible for help from Unemployment Insurance. The CARES Act that was signed March 27th has expanded Unemployment benefits, making it the optimal choice for many who cannot work because they, a family member, or a household member have been impacted by coronavirus.

Expansion of Disability and Family Leave Insurance

In New Jersey, Governor Murphy has signed a new law expanding the State's Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) and Family Leave Insurance (FLI) programs to provide more workers with access to paid leave benefits during public health emergencies.

  • Individuals can now access TDI and FLI benefits during a public health emergency if they must take time off of work because they are diagnosed with or suspected of exposure to a communicable disease or to take care of a family member diagnosed with or suspected of exposure to a communicable disease.
  • Individuals accessing FLI benefits are entitled to up to 12 weeks of family leave in a 24-month period without losing their jobs.

Please note that you cannot receive benefits from these programs and Unemployment Insurance at the same time. Learn more about TDI and FLI at myleavebenefits.nj.gov.

For more information, see NJ Workers: Frequently Asked Questions During the Coronavirus Emergency.

Source: https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/covidFAQ.shtml, https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/covid.shtml; https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/downloads/fact-FLA.pdf