Once you have filed a claim for benefits, you must also claim weekly benefits for each week you are unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements. This is also called “certifying for benefits.” You can start certifying as soon as you receive a notification from the DOL. Go to www.labor.ny.gov/signin. You must continue to certify every week you are unemployed in order to continue to receive benefits
During this process, you are confirming that you were unemployed for all or part of the past week and that you met all other conditions of receiving benefits.
The system will ask if you are ready, willing and able to work, and have been actively looking for work, every week you certify for benefits.
Your weekly benefit payment amount (benefit rate) depends on how much and when you were paid before you became unemployed. There is a formula we use to calculate your rate.
What you should do? Nothing except continue to certify weekly once you are notified by DOL to do so. Your benefits will be updated automatically.
(Please do not call; it will only make it difficult for others to reach an agent.)
When to Certify
For the purposes of Unemployment Insurance, a week runs from Monday to Sunday.
You must file your claim for the previous week on the last day of that week (Sunday) through the following Saturday. This is called the claim window.
Any certification made on a Sunday is for the week ending that day.
Certify For Your Weekly Benefits Online
Refer to this step by step process on how to certify for your weekly benefits:
- Go to www.labor.ny.gov/signin.
- Enter your NY.gov username and password.
- Click the “Unemployment Services” button on the My Online Services page.
- Then click “Certify to Claim Your Weekly Benefits Here” and follow the instructions.
Note: If you have a service that makes your internet address anonymous, please turn it off when claiming weekly benefits. Otherwise, your certification may be blocked.
Ready? Make sure you have with you:
You will need an NY.gov ID to sign up for an online account. If you already have an NY.gov ID username and password, you can use it for our system. If you do not have an NY.gov ID, follow the instructions on our website at labor.ny.gov/signin to create one.
If you have difficulties with NY.gov ID, call the Contact Center at 800-833-3000 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday
Certify For Weekly Benefits by Phone
The Telephone Claim Center is available toll-free during business hours to certify:
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.
For more information visit our Using the Tel-Service Line page.
What to Do & Expect After You Certify
- Following the expiration of New York State’s COVID-19 State of Emergency, the Unemployment Insurance unpaid waiting period rule is once again in effect. New Unemployment Insurance claims filed on and after June 28, 2021 will include an unpaid waiting week. Claimants will not receive payment for the first full week of a claim but must still claim weekly benefits and fulfill eligibility requirements. For more information, visit on.ny.gov/wwfaqs.
- 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.”
- Continue to claim weekly benefits as long as you are unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements.
- Check your mail and email, and respond to any questionnaires, online forms, or phone calls from the Department of Labor right away to prevent delays in your payments.
- If you are found eligible, you will receive any back weeks of benefits owed with your first payment.
- You will receive your benefits via direct deposit or bank debit card.
- If you are found ineligible, 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. For more information go to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board website.
For detailed information about Unemployment Insurance benefits, please read the Claimant Handbook.
Weekly Certification Terms
If you refuse a job offer or referral, your claim will be reviewed to determine if you are still eligible to receive benefits.
‘Work’ means any service you performed for a business or person on any day in the week, even if it was only for an hour or less. This includes work you did in self-employment or on a freelance basis, even if you were not paid.
Ready, Willing and Able to Work
To be ready, willing, and able to work, you must be prepared to start work immediately. You must also be capable of working.
“Vacation Pay” does not include pay you received or are owed for other unused vacation days simply because your employment ended. It does include pay you received or were owed for vacation days that were scheduled before you lost your job and that fell within the week you are claiming. Note: If you received or were owed vacation pay for any day during a planned workplace shutdown, it is considered to be “vacation pay.”
“Holiday Pay” does not include pay you received or are owed for unused holiday credits. It does include pay you received or were owed for holidays that fell within the week you are claiming.
Returned to Work
If you are back to work, you should not claim benefits for any day in which you worked, even if you have not yet received your first paycheck. You may only claim benefits for days in which you did not work.