The Unemployment Claimant Benefit Process

What You Need to Know
  • To collect regular unemployment insurance benefits, you must be ready, willing, and able to work.

  • Anyone calling from Department of Labor (DOL) will verify their identity by providing: (a) the date you filed your application and (b) the type of claim.
  • 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.”

  • New Yorkers who are receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits are eligible for up to 26 weeks of benefits.
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What should I expect after filing?

Verifying with

How much will my benefit be?

When should I certify?









How do I get my benefits?


Two ways to apply

Apply Online
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WARNING: Use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN), proxy, or internet anonymizer service will cause problems with your ability to apply or certify for benefits. Turn these services off before applying or submitting a weekly certification.

It is best to apply for unemployment insurance online in the hours of 7:30AM - 7:30PM. 












Apply By Telephone
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Call our Telephone Claim Center, toll-free during business hours to file a claim.

  • 1-888-209-8124
  • Telephone filing hours are as follows:
    • Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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: English, Spanish, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Creole, Korean, Polish, All other languages

Hearing Impaired

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.

For more information, see our fact sheet: Helping a Claimant with Unemployment Insurance

Claim Review

NY State Unemployment processes most claims with out any issues. Generally, Unemployment Insurance will pay your first payment in two to three weeks. Some claims however, will require a Claim Review to collect information needed to process the claim. If contacted, you should respond to all questions, surveys, messages, or phone calls as quickly as possible. Failure to do so will delay your claim or could result in denial of benefits.

Hearing and Appeals

If you are found ineligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits, you will receive a determination explaining the reason. If you disagree, you may request a hearing within 30 days from the date of the determination.

Have Any More Questions About Unemployment? Find Everything You Need to Know About Your Unemployment Benefits