Unemployment Insurance Claimant Advocate Office



Navigating your Unemployment Insurance claim, hearing or appeal may seem frustrating or confusing at times. We can help!

The Claimant Advocate Office operates within the Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Division, separate from the Telephone Claims Center (TCC). Advocates provide free, impartial and confidential services that help claimants, particularly those with limited English proficiency or other barriers, understand their rights and responsibilities under Unemployment Insurance Law.

What issues can the Claimant Advocate Office assist with?

  • You've received a determination or a questionnaire and don't fully understand it;
  • You were found ineligible for benefits and need the hearing process explained to you; and
  • You have an upcoming hearing or appeal and need help preparing for it.

When should I contact the Telephone Claims Center (TCC) instead of the Claimant Advocate Office?

  • You wish to file a new claim.
  • You would like an update on the status of your new or existing claim.
  • You have a specific question about your claim.
  • You were instructed to contact the claims center.

Remember, you can always send an electronic message to the TCC. Just log in to your NY.Gov account by going to labor.ny.gov/signin, then click on the envelope on the upper right, and choose the subject that best reflects your question. Your message will be answered by a claims center representative. Please remember that claims take at least three weeks to be reviewed and processed, or they may take longer if issues arise.

I am not fluent in English. Can an advocate assist me?

Yes! Services are provided in approximately 200 languages. We can explain the Unemployment Insurance process in the language in which you are comfortable speaking.

How do I contact an advocate for help?

To reach the Claimant Advocate Office, please call (855) 528-5618. Our hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

When you call, please have ready:

  • Your Social Security number
  • A list of questions
  • Any related documents

If you are calling for someone else, please have that person present with you at the time of the call.

If you have a question about how to file a claim or other general Unemployment Insurance question, please review the Frequently Asked Questions and the Claimant Handbook.

Watch the Video: Preparing for Your Unemployment Insurance Hearing

For a printable version of this information, see the UI Claimant Advocate Office fact sheet.

DISCLAIMER: Office staff are not lawyers and can’t represent you at a hearing. If you cannot afford to pay an attorney or a registered representative, you may be able to get free representation from a pro bono attorney or your local Legal Aid Society or legal services program. For a list of legal resources, including attorneys, registered representatives, legal services programs and pro bono attorneys’ organizations, go to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board website at uiappeals.ny.gov/. Click on the “Helpful Information” tab and then click on "Guides and Resources." Choose the “List of Attorneys & Authorized Agents.” You may also request this list by calling (518) 402-0205.