New Jersey legislators pass law allowing medical interns to collect unemployment benefits

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 

State legislators passed a law Aug. 7 allowing medical interns to receive unemployment insurance benefits once their internship ends, according to myCentralJersey.com.

Following the completion of their four-year medical degree, students pursue a year-long internship prior to enrolling in an accredited residency program, though the internship requirement has been increasingly integrated into the first year of residency. Current New Jersey state law bars medical interns from collecting unemployment insurance benefits once their internship ends, despite receiving a salary during the internship.

"If a medical intern has student loan debt in the six-figure range and suddenly loses employment during his or her first postgraduate year, it can be a significant obstacle to financial stability," said Assemblyman Joseph V. Egan, D-District 17, who sponsored the bill. "Allowing interns to receive unemployment in the event of their termination during their internship will allow them to make ends meet and keep up with some portion of their loan payments as they search for new employment."

Seventeen states currently have similar policies in place allowing medical interns to collect unemployment insurance benefits.

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