How To Apply For Unemployment In New York

The New York Department of Labor is the governing body for all unemployment insurance claims in the State of New York. If you’re filing an unemployment claim for the first time, you must do so on the day designated by the first letter of your last name. A-F should file on Monday. G-N on Tuesday, and O-Z on Wednesday. You can file online or by phone.

Online filing is available twenty-four hours a day. The phone center is open Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 7:30 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm. The correct phone number to call to file a telephone claim is (888) 209-8124.

Filing Weekly Benefits Claims

The easiest way to submit a weekly claim for benefits is by creating an online account with the Department of Labor. Your initial claim is only to state your intent of collecting unemployment insurance benefits. That claim will be reviewed and then you’ll be required to file a weekly claim to get your payment. You’ll be asked to provide the following:

  • Social Security Number and State ID
  • Proof of Work Search
  • Verification of Unemployed Status
  • Confirmation of Willingness to Work

Your continued weekly benefits payments are contingent on your being “willing and able” to work if employment is offered. You’ll also need to verify that you’re actively looking for a new job. Work search is mandatory component of New York’s unemployment insurance program.

Base Period and Amount of Your Weekly Check

The term “base period” refers to the first four of the last five quarters that you worked and received wages. The amount of your weekly benefits payment is determined by the amount of money you made in the two highest paying quarters of that period. The total of the wages from those two high quarters is divided by 26 to give you your weekly benefits amount.

The maximum weekly benefits amount you can receive in New York is $504 per week and the minimum is $104 per week. The maximum period of time you can receive your payments is twenty-six weeks. Payments can be received by direct deposit or via an electronic Visa debit card provided by the New York Department of Labor.

Avoiding Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Keep all personally identifying information to yourself and don’t ask any third parties to “handle” your unemployment insurance benefits claim for you. This is good advice under any circumstance. You should never share your social security number, government pin, or debit card with anyone, even family members. If you UI account is flagged for suspicious behavior, it could take several weeks to have it reinstated.

If you are outside the United States for any reason, you cannot claim unemployment insurance benefits for that time period. Claims made from outside the United States, either online or by phone, will be automatically flagged for potential unemployment insurance fraud. Avoid these situations when you travel by filing your weekly claim before you go.

New York Unemployment Insurance Program

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