599 Program
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599 Program Details

Section 599 is a provision of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Law. UI recipients who are or become enrolled in full time training may be waived from the work search requirement. If your training program is approved before you exhaust your regular your UI benefits, you may receive additional benefits, if funding is available. You must apply for Section 599 if you are a UI recipient and are enrolled in full-time training or become enrolled while on UI. The 599 Training Program is not a tuition assistance program.

  • Are you receiving UI benefits?
  • Are you attending school or a training program?
  • Are you interested in attending school or a training program?
  • Do you want to speak with a career advisor regarding training opportunities?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be interested in the 599 Training Program.

Training and Regular Benefits

If you are still attending your approved 599 training when you exhaust your benefits, you may be able to receive up to a maximum of 26 weeks of additional unemployment benefits under Section 599.2. However, since funding for these additional benefits is not always available, additional benefits are not guaranteed. Also, these benefits may not continue until the end of your training.

Qualifying for the Program

In order to be approved for the 599 Program, you must have the required qualifications and skills to complete the course or training successfully. In addition, the course or training itself must meet certain requirements. These requirements include, but are not limited to, the requirements listed below. The training must:

  • Consist of a minimum of either 12 registered credit hours in each semester or at least 12 classroom hours each week
  • Be completed within 24 months of your approval date
  • Be career specific
  • Meet the minimum or standard education requirements to qualify for work in the specific career goal
  • Improve one’s ability to obtain more regular, long-term employment in the state or local labor market

You must maintain passing grades to remain eligible for the 599 Program. You will be asked to periodically submit a copy of your grades and schedule or other proof from your training facility to show that you are making satisfactory progress in your approved training.

High School Equivalency

The 599 Program can be used to earn your High School Equivalency as long as the training program meets the requirement of 12 classroom hours each week, has a definite training completion date, and can be completed within 24 months of your approval date.

Reporting Requirements

You must apply for training approval within the first 13 weeks of your claim in order to receive the maximum benefits. A delay in notifying the Department of Labor about your training attendance may result in a reduction of any additional benefits that may be available to you. Also, failure to inform the Department that you are attending training while you receive Unemployment Insurance benefits may result in penalties and forfeiture of future benefits.

How to Apply

Submit a 599 application to the Department of Labor as soon as you are accepted into a school or training facility. If you are already enrolled in or have been accepted into a course of study or training program when you first file your Unemployment Insurance claim, you should submit your training application immediately to the Department of Labor at the address shown on the application. To be considered for the 599 Program, you must submit your application while you are still collecting regular unemployment benefits.

You may request an application or get general information by calling the 599 Central Review Unit at 518-402-0189. If you are interested in attending training and have not yet enrolled, you should contact your local New York State Career Center as soon as possible. Trained counselors at your local New York State Career Center can help you with your training needs and provide information about training programs in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am still in training when my regular benefits end, can I receive additional unemployment benefits?

If you are still attending your approved 599 training when you exhaust your UI benefits, you may be eligible to receive up to 26 weeks of additional unemployment benefits under Section 599.2. However, since funding for these additional benefits is not always available, approval of your training does not guarantee that you will receive any additional benefits or that they will continue until your training is completed.

When do funds become available to pay 599.2 additional benefits?

At the beginning of each program year, on July 1, the Department of Labor establishes the priority for the payment of 599.2 benefits. Such priority is determined based on the date that your training was approved by the Department of Labor. (This is your approval date.) The payment of these additional benefits may begin as of the date funds become available for your approval date and your eligibility for these funds is determined.

Where do I find my 599 training approval date?

The training approval date is the date your training was approved by the Department of Labor. If you received a notice informing you that you were approved for training under Section 599 of the New York State Unemployment Insurance Law, your approval date appears under the heading “Important Information.”

What is a waiting list for 599.2 funds?

Pursuant to Section 599.2 of the Unemployment Insurance Law, no more than $20 million of benefits per year shall be made available for payments to claimants participating in 599-approved training. Once these funds are exhausted, the Department of Labor establishes a waiting list based on training approval dates. There is currently a waiting list for 599.2 funds.

There is no “waiting list number” to identify your place on the waiting list. Your place on the list depends on several factors. These include your training approval date, the number of UI recipients with the same approval date, and the availability of 599.2 funds. These factors vary and are subject to change.

For example, some claimants who were approved for the 599 program may be terminated for various reasons, such as not attending approved training. The 599.2 benefits that were committed to them may become available to others, which will change the waiting list.

The training approval date is the date your training was approved by the Department of Labor. If you received a notice informing you that you were approved for training under Section 599 of the New York State Unemployment Insurance Law, your approval date appears under the heading “Important Information.”

What is the earliest approval date for which 599.2 funds are currently available?

The earliest approval date for which 599.2 funds are available is 5/5/20.

If your 599 training approval date is later than the approval date for which 599.2 funds are available, this means that 599.2 funds are not currently available for you, and you have been placed on the waiting list for 599.2 funds.

What should I do when I am on the waiting list for the 599.2 funds?

If you are on a waiting list for 599.2 funds, this means that you have exhausted your unemployment insurance benefits and you are potentially eligible for 599.2 additional benefits. While you are on the waiting list, you will not be able to certify for benefits. When 599.2 funds become available for your approval date, you will be mailed a 599.2 eligibility questionnaire. This questionnaire will be used to determine your eligibility for 599.2 additional benefits. It is important that you provide a complete and timely response. A failure to return the questionnaire in a timely manner will result in a decision being made based only the information available to the Department of Labor at that time, which could adversely impact your eligibility for these benefits. The completed questionnaire must be returned, along with a copy of your transcript, within 14 days of the mail date. If it is determined that you are eligible for these additional benefits, benefits will be paid to you as of the date funds became available. No retroactive payments will be made. If you complete your training before funds become available, you will not be paid any additional benefits.