Veteran from New Brunswick among thousands in NJ trying to navigate unemployment system

Unemployment claims continue to skyrocket across New Jersey as families in need are becoming increasingly desperate for answers that they are not getting from the state.

News 12 Staff

Feb 20, 2021, 3:58 AM

Updated 1,209 days ago

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Unemployment claims continue to skyrocket across New Jersey as families in need are becoming increasingly desperate for answers that they are not getting from the state.
News 12 spoke with a veteran who is among tens of thousands of state residents who are struggling.
Julio Garzon of New Brunswick says that he has been having issues with the unemployment office since even before the pandemic. He says that he doesn’t have too much more time before he must start reaching out to friends and family for help.
“It has been pretty much just radio silence,” Garzon says.
Garzon originally filed for unemployment around Memorial Day weekend in 2019 after he suffered an injury. He says that once his file went from disability to unemployment, the state had seemed to lose track of his file.
“Honestly, in the last two years I’ve spoken to people and both times they just said, ‘You don’t have to get back to your files with disability. And then I called disability and then that lady said, ‘I’ve got nothing,’” Garzon says.
Garzon served in the military until 2011. He is also father to an 8-month-old baby. He has had some help from Veterans Affairs, but any assistance they have tried to link him to have been dead ends. He filed for unemployment again in December and still did not get a response.
He says that if he does not get any answers by the end of the month, he may have to reach out to family or friends for help.
“Maybe sign up for Lyft or, you know, one of those driving apps…do whatever I have to do,” Garzon says.
Garzon is just one of thousands of stories of New Jersey residents struggling with the unemployment office. By the end of January, more than 30,000 claims have been stuck in the state’s unemployment system.


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