Unemployment Insurance is temporary income for eligible workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Apply the first week that you lose your job.
If you are eligible, you will be paid for all benefits from that date forward. You must certify your eligibility for benefits weekly online or over the phone to receive benefits.
To qualify for Unemployment Insurance benefits, you must have worked and earned enough wages in covered employment. In New York State, employers pay contributions that fund Unemployment Insurance.
By law, the unemployment insurance program provides benefits to people who:
- Have enough employment to establish a claim
- Have lost employment through no fault of their own
- Are ready, willing, and able to work and
- Are actively seeking work
If you worked in New York State within the last 18 months, you have the right to apply for benefits. We encourage you to apply even if you are uncertain. Apply even if a former employer told you that you would not be eligible or that you were not ‘covered.’ The department will make an independent assessment of your eligibility.
You must meet the qualifying conditions set by law to qualify for benefits. (See list above.)
We can only determine your eligibility to benefits after you apply and we have all the required information.
You may be eligible for benefits if:
- You lost your job due to lack of work
- The temporary or seasonal employment ended
- Your job was eliminated
- There was an involuntary reduction in force
- The company downsized or shut down
- The company restructured or reorganized
- There was a lack of company operating funds/orders
- You were out of work for any other business reason that you did not choose or control
- Your employer discharged or fired you because you could not meet their performance or production standards, or their qualifications for the job
You may be denied benefits if you:
- Were fired because you violated a company policy, rule or procedure, such as absenteeism or insubordination
- Quit your job without good cause, such as a compelling personal reason
- Are out of work because of a work stoppage (except for lockouts) in the last 14 days that violated an existing collective bargaining agreement where you worked. (You need not actually take part in the strike, only be out of work because of it.)
Estimate your weekly benefit amount with our benefit calculator.
Related Resources and Links
Unemployment Insurance Information
Expiration of Federal Benefits
For Teachers and School Workers
For Self-Employed, Independent Contractors and Farmers
If you apply for unemployment insurance, you will be asked if you want to receive your benefits by direct deposit or debit card.
If you apply over the phone, you will automatically receive your benefits via debit card unless you had a previous claim and you received them by direct deposit.
How to Apply
How to Apply
The best way to apply is online. Sign in, create a NY.gov ID account, and follow the instructions to "file a claim."
If you have never filed a claim for benefits in New York State, you must create a PIN. This is a four-digit number that you must keep confidential. This PIN will be used to access the system to certify for weekly benefits and update your account.
Ready? Make sure you 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
You can file a claim without all of these documents. However, missing information can delay your first payment.
If you cannot print web pages, have a pen and paper to copy information.
If you choose direct deposit of your weekly benefits, you will need your bank routing and checking account numbers. You cannot choose direct deposit if you file your claim by telephone.
It is best to apply for unemployment insurance online in the hours of 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Apply By Telephone
Call our Telephone Claim Center, toll-free during business hours to file a claim.
- Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
If you file by phone, we offer translation services. Use your phone keypad to enter the number for the language you choose. A voice recording will offer you these choices:
- All other languages
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.
After you apply for unemployment insurance benefits, this is what you can expect:
- If you are eligible, your first payment will generally be made in two to three weeks from the time your claim is completed and processed. In some cases, we must get additional information before payment can be made and your first payment may take longer. We use this time to review and process your application for benefits. You will not receive benefits during this period. This is why you may see your claim status as “pending.”
- You should respond to any questionnaires, messages, or phone calls from us as quickly as possible. Failure to do so will delay your claim or result in the denial or suspension of your benefits.
- If you received benefits on a prior claim by using a debit card and you no longer have the card, or if your card has expired, you must call KeyBank at 1-866-295-2955 to get a new card.
- If you filed a prior claim and you received benefits on that prior claim by direct deposit, any benefits due to you on this claim will go to the bank account we have on file. If your bank account has changed, please immediately update your banking information by using our website.
- To find out when your most recent payment was released or to see a history of all payments made on your claim, sign in to your account.
- After you complete your application for a new claim for benefits, you will receive a Monetary Determination in the mail informing you of your weekly benefit rate, the base period used to establish your claim, and the employers and wages used to calculate your weekly benefit rate.
- If the wages are wrong, or if any employers are missing, fill out and send to us the Request for Reconsideration form.
- To speed our review of your claim, be sure to submit proof of your employment and wages. If you have no pay stubs, please send any documents you may have that can be used as proof.
- You should certify for benefits for each week you remain unemployed, as soon as you receive notification from the DOL to do so. Learn how to certify each week.
For detailed information about Unemployment Insurance benefits, please read the Claimant Handbook.
- Albanian Sigurimi i Papunësisë - Manual Udhëzues për Aplikuesit
- Arabic language version - التأمي ن ضد البطالة دليل المُطالب بالمخصصات
- Bengali language version - বেকারত্ব বিমা দাবিদারের জন্য একটি পুস্তিকা
- Chinese language version - 失業保險 理賠申請人手冊
- French language version - Assurance-chômage: Guide destiné aux demandeurs
- Haitian Creole language version - Asirans Chomaj: Yon tiliv ki bay enfòmasyon pou moun ki fè reklamasyon
- Italian language version - Assicurazione Contro la Disoccupazione - Guida per il Richiedente
- Korean language version - 실업 보험 청구자 안내서
- Polish language version - Ubezpieczenie od bezrobocia: Podręcznik dla osób ubiegających się o świadczenia
- Russian language version - Страховые выплаты по безработице: Руководство для заявителя
- Spanish language version - Seguro de desempleo: Manual del solicitante
It is against State and Federal law for the New York State Department of Labor to discriminate based on:
- National Origin
- Marital Status
- Political Affiliation or Belief
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity or expression
- Military Status
We will evaluate your claim for UI benefits and decide if you qualify, without regard to any of these factors.