The federal COVID-19 stimulus package that was signed into law on Dec. 27 included supplemental unemployment benefits of $300 per week for eligible people who had been pitched out of their jobs due to the public-health crisis, with payments scheduled to begin on the week ending Jan. 2 and to continue through March 13. But when it came to processing the payments in New Jersey, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development encountered an “unforeseen snag,” as a press release from the department put it this week.
Having worked over the weekend on the issue, the department processed more than a half-million (533,000) of the federal supplemental payments — worth $296 million; eligible claimants were expected to begin seeing two weeks’ worth of benefits ($600) in direct deposit accounts or on debit cards by Tuesday, depending on their bank.
“These critical funds will continue to be available weekly without claimants having to take any action,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said.
The snag apparently was the result of running the new Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program while simultaneously running the previous program, which had different payout amounts.