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.
Each week you are certifying benefits you will be asked if you are ready, willing and able to work, and have been actively looking for work. We understand that many of you are unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and New York State on PAUSE. If you would otherwise be able to work, you should answer 'YES' in order to receive your 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.
PLEASE NOTE: With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, if you have already been approved for unemployment insurance benefits, you may now also qualify to receive:
- 39 weeks of UI benefits.
- An additional $600/week until 7/31/2020.
(The $600 would be paid the first week of your unemployment claim period but no earlier than 4/5/20.)
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:
1-888-581-5812 for New York State residents. PLEASE NOTE: If you are receiving PUA benefits and you want to certify by phone, you should call a different number. See the PUA weekly certification instructions.
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.
What to Do & Expect After You Certify
- As of March 12, 2020, the Governor has suspended the one-week waiting period for individuals impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. If you've seen the term ‘waiting week’ on your payment history, it is a relic of our existing system and does NOT impact your benefits.
- 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 how to certify for weekly benefits, please read the New York State Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook.
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