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Can I use sick leave or family leave if I get COVID-19 or need to take care of someone?

Last Updated: 02/15/2023

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.

To see if you may be eligible for New Jersey's Unemployment Insurance, Temporary Disability Insurance, Earned Sick Leave, and Family Leave Insurance programs visit

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.

Unemployment Assistance

Those who meet the requirements for traditional unemployment insurance may receive benefits for up to 26 weeks during a one-year period.

Federally extended unemployment benefits, which expanded unemployment benefits to cover a variety of COVID-19 scenarios, expired on September 4, 2021. If you have a new unemployment claim, and are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, there are no additional unemployment benefits for you at this time. Learn more here.

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

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