New Jersey has been chosen as one of two states to help the federal government try out a new system of handling claims for and distributing unemployment benefits.

Early next year, the Claimant Experience Pilot is expected to begin, ideally providing equitable and timely access to unemployment benefits, while rooting out fraud issues such as identity theft that have bogged down systems throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the New Jersey Department of Labor announced on Tuesday.

According to NJDOL, New Jersey was chosen by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Digital Service due to, among other reasons, the massive number of unemployment applications it's received since March 2020 (2.4 million), and the state's rank as best in the nation for the percentage of unemployed workers who successfully receive benefits.

"With this announcement, New Jersey will be at the forefront of modernization, and permanent, meaningful reform," Gov. Phil Murphy said. "This administration and our partners in the federal government will work hand-in-hand to bring more equity, fairness, and accessibility to our workers — especially in times of unforeseen hardship."

Arkansas is the other state that's been chosen to participate in the test run.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at

Questions to ask to see if someone’s REALLY from New Jersey

UP NEXT: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

More From 94.5 PST