I retired then lost another job. Can I get unemployment?

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Q. I retired after 26 years with a New Jersey state pension. After retiring I began to work for a different company and was terminated at no fault of my own. Am I entitled to unemployment?
— Out of a job

A. It depends on the details.

You should be able to collect unemployment, but the amount may be reduced by your pension depending upon who your second employer was, said Jody D’Agostini, a certified financial planner with AXA Advisors/The Falcon Financial Group in Morristown.

If it is a separate employer not under the auspices of the State of New Jersey, then you may qualify, she said.

If this employer is related to the State of New Jersey, your pension would be reduced by up to 100% of the pension amount, she said, depending on who contributed to your pension.

As long as the new position is unrelated to the State of New Jersey and you meet the other requirements, you should be fully eligible for unemployment benefits, she said.

One of the requirements for receiving unemployment is that you lost your job “through no fault of your own,” she said, which is a standard you said you meet.

Next, you need to have met the minimum earnings requirement during your “base period.”

“This consists of the first four of the last five completed quarters of work before you file your claim,” D’Agostini said. “You needed to have earned $200 per week during 20 or more weeks of this base period or have earned $10,000 in total employment income during the base year.”

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This story was originally published on Oct. 7, 2020.

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