What you need to know about the unemployment insurance program

  • September 21, 2021

A woman who is disabled because of a chronic illness has filed a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey claiming she was illegally excluded from the unemployment compensation program, according to the New Jersey Office of Public Service.

Kimberly Sotelo, who suffers from chronic myeloid leukemia, filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the New York state Department of Labor and Industry and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleging that the state denied her benefits because of her health.

Sotelo was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012 and has had surgery to remove tumors and stem cell transplantation, according the suit.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and was first reported by the Associated Press.

“The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSHA) and New Jersey State Department of Workforce Development have unlawfully discriminated against Ms. Sotelo for the duration of her cancer treatment and denied her unemployment benefits because she has cancer,” the suit says.

Soltelo, 51, of Long Beach, California, had been eligible for unemployment compensation since 2013 and has been able to work since 2014 because she was receiving unemployment benefits, according a news release from the office.

In April, the state announced it was going to expand the unemployment benefit eligibility rules to cover those with cancer and other chronic illnesses, according Toensing spokesman Kevin Sullivan.

That would allow for those with a chronic health condition who are disabled to receive unemployment compensation, he said.

The New York State Department Of Labor and Industries (DOLEI) issued a statement about Sotels case saying the agency is “committed to ensuring the well-being of all our employees and has received input from the State and the DOLEI on this issue.

We will continue to work with the State on the best way forward.”

New Jersey is one of 16 states and the District of Columbia that does not allow discrimination in unemployment benefits.

Insurance for unemployed New Jerseyans: You pay more for insurance, according to new study

  • August 16, 2021

The cost of health insurance has gone up for the first time in more than a decade, according a new study.

The Associated Press analyzed data from insurance companies and employers in New Jersey and found that the cost of insurance in New York City and New Jersey increased by almost 20 percent.

In New York, the average annual premium was $1,939 for people 65 and older and $1.074 for people with incomes up to $125,000.

In Jersey City, the increase was just 7.9 percent.

Health insurers have been trying to find ways to make up for a decline in the population.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reported in December that premiums were increasing faster than wages in New England states.

The AP also found that people are increasingly choosing health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

Insurance companies have been increasing the rates and types of plans offered to low-income individuals and people with lower incomes, but the rates remain lower than those in places like California and Texas.

The increase in costs is not expected to slow down anytime soon.

Insurance is expected to cover about half of people who get health care, which will increase the number of uninsured people.

The AP reported last month that the federal government is set to release its latest numbers on the number and size of people covered through the health law.

Employers pay $4.2B more than they owe for workers compensation coverage

  • August 10, 2021

New Jersey is facing a $4 billion bill to pay for the health care insurance policies that workers had sought under the Affordable Care Act.

The total amount the state will pay for workers’ compensation coverage was not disclosed in a statement on Monday.

The state has said that a total of $4,521 million would go to covering about 25,000 workers and their dependents who had received coverage under the law.

Employers are required to pay $5,000 for workers who get covered under the ACA, but New Jersey officials say that total amount is only $1,000 and not the full amount due.

The state has long struggled to pay its workers’ comp costs, which are estimated to have been around $12 billion, the New Jersey Union-Tribune reported.