NJ Workers' Compensation Benefit Rates Increase in 2022


The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) announced increases in the maximum benefit rates for Unemployment Insurance, Temporary Disability Insurance, Family Leave Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation for the calendar year 2022. The increased rates will be effective for new claims dated January 2, 2022, and later.

New 2022 Rates

In the new year, the maximum weekly benefit amount for new Unemployment Insurance beneficiaries increases to $804, from $731. The maximum weekly benefit for new state plan Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance claims increases to $993, from $903, while the maximum weekly benefit for new Workers’ Compensation claims rises to $1,065, from $969. 

How Rates Are Calculated
The maximum benefit rates are recalculated each year based on the statewide average weekly wage. The benefit rates and taxable wage base for 2022 reflect the $1,419.52 average weekly wage for 2020, which rose by 9.9 percent in 2019, largely due to the number of low-wage workers who were out of work during the pandemic and the higher wage paid to those who remained on the job. 

The taxable wage base, or the maximum amount that workers and employers must pay unemployment, temporary disability, and family leave taxes on, will also rise in 2022.

The level of wages subject to unemployment taxes in 2022 increased to $39,800 for both workers and employers. The same maximum applies to employers covered under Temporary Disability Insurance, the Workforce Development Partnership Program, or Supplemental Workforce Fund for Basic Skills. 

The taxable wage base for workers covered under the Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance programs will increase to $151,900 for 2022. 

Eligibility for Unemployment
To qualify for Unemployment, Temporary Disability, or Family Leave benefits in 2022, an applicant must have earned at least $240 per week for 20 base weeks, or alternatively, have earned at least $12,000. Benefit eligibility criteria are based on the state minimum wage in effect on October 1, 2021. As of January 1, 2021, the minimum wage in New Jersey rose to $12/hour for most employees.

Public Entities Contributions
The contribution rate for state and local government entities that choose to make contributions rather than reimburse the trust fund for Unemployment Insurance benefits paid to their former employees remains at 0.6 percent of taxable wages for the calendar year 2022.

By Jon L. Gelman

Courtesy of Workers' Compensation

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