‘Trying to go on unemployment since March 10:’ Bogota man waits on call back from Labor Department

There are New Jerseyans, who were forced to step away from work because of coronavirus, still struggling to get their unemployment benefits.

News 12 Staff

Jun 5, 2020, 11:37 AM

Updated 1,499 days ago

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There are New Jerseyans, who were forced to step away from work because of coronavirus, still struggling to get their unemployment benefits.
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"Trying to go on unemployment since March 10," says Harout Doghramatjian, of Bogota.

Harout just needs someone from the Labor Department to call him back so they can walk him through the process to reset his password.  He's gotten no further in nearly three months. 

"That's why I need someone to call me directly on my phone and tell me how to reset the new password," says Harout.
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Harout works as a tennis coach in New Providence at the Murray Hill Racquet Club, where the parking lot sits empty. It's a non-contact sport, so under Gov. Phil Murphy's guidelines he could open on June 22, but that may not happen.  

"It's Murray Hill Tennis and Fitness, that's why we are not working, because it's a gym, not outdoors," says Harout.

Harout now fears losing his car and the home in Bogota he remodeled over the 16 years he has lived there. 

News 12 first spoke to Harout back on May 21. At that time, he said the last paycheck he had was from March 6. The $1,200 stimulus check helped with food, but otherwise there's no income.

The New Jersey Labor Department has been telling people they need to be patient after being inundated with claims. On the national level, 42 million have put in a claim for benefits. Some have started going back to work, but it still remains to be seen if some of those positions won't be refilled because businesses went under.

Harout's colleagues at the tennis club have all received their unemployment benefits, which makes all of it even more frustrating as he waits for the phone call. 


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