Gov. Murphy: NJ waiting on guidance from feds before applying for enhanced unemployment benefits

Gov. Phil Murphy says that the state is waiting on guidance from the federal government before applying for enhanced unemployment benefits.

News 12 Staff

Aug 21, 2020, 9:15 PM

Updated 1,339 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy says that the state is waiting on guidance from the federal government before applying for enhanced unemployment benefits.
The benefits come from President Donald Trump’s executive order to partially extend unemployment assistance payments to millions of Americans who struggling to find work during the pandemic. Trump’s order allocates $44 billion in federal dollars from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to boost unemployment aid for the jobless and calls on states to kick in roughly $15 billion.
If it was enacted in New Jersey, those on unemployment would get $400 per week - $100 from New Jersey and $300 from the federal government.
But Matt Platkin, chief counsel in the Murphy administration, says that New Jersey is still waiting on additional details before the governor can apply.
“They’ve never run it through FEMA this way. And there’s some concern that if they were to come back – if Congress were to come back and enact an extension of the $600 that then the state would have to go back and recoup this money,” Platkin said Friday.
Murphy said that to his knowledge, only five or six states have applied for the enhanced benefits.
“The rest of us are trying to figure out exactly what this means. If we can do it and we’re not on the hook for that back $100, and it doesn’t come back in the future where we’re going to have to repay any or all of that, we’ll sign up,” Murphy said. “But we’ve got to get guidance on that first.”
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The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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