Unemployment Insurance is temporary income for eligible workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. To collect benefits, you must be ready, willing, and able to work, and actively looking for work during each week in which you are claiming benefits.
STEP 1: Apply
Before you can collect, you must Apply for Benefits.
STEP 2: Claim Weekly
After you apply, you must claim benefits for each week that you are unemployed and looking for work, including while you are waiting for your benefits to begin.
To qualify for benefits, you must have enough work hours and wages in covered employment. In New York State, employers pay contributions that fund UI. It is not deducted from your paycheck.
When do I file?
Promptly file your claim in the first week that you lose your job. You must serve an unpaid waiting period equal to one full week of unemployment benefits, before you receive payments. A delay in filing may cost you benefits.
You may file your claim (Eastern Time):
Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: Until 7 p.m.
Resource and Links:
- If you have general questions, visit our FAQ page
- Claimant Handbook
- Forms and Publications
- Extended Benefits
- UI Rules for Government Workers
- UI Rules for Teachers and Other School Workers
Refer to this step by step process on how to apply for benefits:
- Sign in with your NY.GOV ID
- Follow the instructions to file a claim
- Submit your application
- The Department of Labor will evaluate your claim for UI benefits and decide if you qualify
Ready? Have with you:
- Your Social Security number
- Your driver license or Motor Vehicle ID card number (if you have either one)
- Your complete mailing address and zip code
- A phone number where we can reach you from 8 am - 5 pm, Monday –Friday
- Your Alien Registration card number (if you are not a U.S. Citizen and have a card)
- Names and addresses of all your employers for the last 18 months, including those in other states
- Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your most recent employer (FEIN is on your W-2 forms)
- Your copies of forms SF8 and SF50, if you were a federal employee
- Your most recent separation form (DD 214), for military service
Help Filing A Claim
The Telephone Claim Center is available toll-free during business hours to file a claim:
1-888-209-8124 for New York State residents
If you have a disability and need help to file your claim, you may allow another person to aid you.
- You must be present each time they help you and use your PIN. You will be held accountable for the actions of your helper.
- You may be subject to penalties, including forfeiture of benefits, if you are not present when your helper assists you.
Callers may ask a friend or relative to help with phone claims if they:
- Have problems with hearing or speech, or
- Have difficulty using the phone for any reason.
Have your helper call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-783-1370.
Call a relay operator first at 1-800-662-1220, and ask the operator to call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-783-1370.
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