The best way to file a new claim for unemployment insurance is through our improved online filing system. This is only for new claims.
If you already have a claim, please go to labor.ny.gov/signin to make weekly certifications or to view your claim information.
Waiting weeks for unemployment benefits have been waived during the COVID-19 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.
|What employment do I need to qualify for benefits?||
You must have worked and been paid wages for work in at least two calendar quarters in your base period,
We use no more than $11,088 of your high quarter earnings to determine if you qualify. You must have earned at least half that amount ($5,544) in the other base period quarters.
If you qualify using the Basic base period, we use that period to establish your claim.
If you do not qualify in the Basic base period, we will calculate using the Alternate base period.
|How do I know if I may file a claim?||
By law, the unemployment insurance program provides benefits to people who:
If you worked in New York State within the last 18 months, you have the right to file a claim for benefits. We encourage you to file a claim even if you are uncertain. File a claim even if a former employer told you that you would not be eligible or that you were not ‘covered.’ The department will make an independent assessment of your eligibility.
You may be denied benefits if you:
|When should I file a claim?||
File your claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment. If you wait, you may lose benefits. You may not file for a week when you work more than 30 hours or earn more than $504 gross pay between Monday and Sunday. You must wait until the next Monday to file, if you are still unemployed.
To request credit for a period for which you did not file a valid claim, write to:
We will investigate and decide if you qualify for benefits.
|How do I apply for Unemployment Insurance?||
See How to File a Claim for instructions.
If you are hearing-impaired and another person is helping you:
|What do I need to have when I file?||See How to File a Claim for instructions.|
|What if I forgot my PIN?||
If you filed a UI claim within the last 3 years, the system will remember your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
To reset your PIN, call the Telephone Claim Center at (888) 209-8124 and speak with a representative. Call during the hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.
|If I live in New York State, but worked in another state, where do I apply for benefits?||
If you live in New York State, but all your work in the past 18 months was in another state, file your claim with the state where you worked. See details and filing instructions in other states.
If you worked in 2 or more states in the past 18 months, you must file your claim with any one of the states where you worked, no matter where you live. You may be able to combine wages from all the states where you worked in the past 18 months. OR, you may use only the wages earned in the filing state. File your claim in a state where you worked, then that state will tell you all your filing options to receive the highest benefit amount. See details and filing instructions in other states.
|What if I work part time?||
If you work 30 hours or fewer in a week and earn $504 or less, you may receive partial benefits. See details on partial unemployment eligibility and how to claim partial benefits.
If you receive partial benefits, it extends the length of time you may collect benefits. If you earn over $504 in any week, no matter how many hours you worked, you cannot receive benefits for that week.
|Can I file a claim if I lost my full-time work, but still work part-time?||
Yes, if you work 30 hours of fewer in a week and earn $504 or less, you may receive partial benefits. When you file your UI claim:
|If I have a claim with another state, how do I register with NYS?||
If you filed a claim in another state, but have since moved to New York State, the other state may require you to register and receive re-employment services with New York State. To register with New York State, please go to the nearest New York State Career Center office and ask them to register you for re-employment services.
Please note: Out of an abundance of caution, all NYS Career Center offices are closed during the COVID-19 emergency.
|How is my weekly benefit rate determined?||
We calculate your original benefit rate based on your actual high calendar quarter* wages. Your weekly benefit rate is 1/26 of the high quarter wages paid to you in your base period.
Exception: if your high quarter wages are $3,575 or less, your weekly benefit rate is 1/25 of your high quarter wages. For claims effective 1/6/14 and later, if you only have two or three quarters of earnings in your base period and your high quarter is greater than $4,000, your high quarter wages will be calculated based on the average of your two highest quarters.
|Can I estimate my weekly Unemployment Insurance benefit amount?||Yes, you can use the benefit rate calculator on our website. Please note that the tool gives an estimate only. It does not guarantee that you will be eligible for benefits or a specific amount of benefits. You must file an Unemployment Insurance claim to find our if you are eligible and learn your actual benefit amount.|
|What is the maximum amount of benefits I can receive?||
Although your claim lasts one year (your benefit year), during that time you can only receive 26 times your full weekly rate. The same amount of money applies for weeks of partial unemployment.
|Can I use military service to establish a claim?||
Yes. To qualify you must meet these conditions:
We will base your weekly benefit rate on your high quarter earnings in your base period. We base your earnings in military service on a Federal schedule that takes into account the base pay in your last grade, plus allowances for food and clothing.
|What if I work for a school system?||
Employees of educational institutions who have a contract or believe they have work in the next academic year or term cannot receive UI benefits if they file:
If you are denied benefits
|What if I worked in New York State, but live in another state?||
If you currently live in another state, but all of your work in the past 18 months was in New York State, you must file your claim with New York State. See How to File a Claim for instructions.
If you worked in 2 or more states in the past 18 months, you may file your claim with any one of the states where you worked, no matter where you live. You may be able to combine wages from all the states where you worked in the past 18 months. OR you may use only the wages earned in the filing state. File your claim in a state where you worked, then that state will tell you all your filing options to receive the highest benefit amount. See details and filing instructions in other states.
|What if I plan to move out of New York State?||If you are looking for work outside of New York State or plan to move, you must contact the Telephone Claim Center. They will tell you how to transfer your claim. If you are moving, you will be required to register for employment services in your new state.|
|Does receiving Social Security affect my benefits?||We do not reduce your unemployment benefits because you collect Social Security. You must be able to work and be looking for work with no restrictions when you receive Social Security.|
|Does receiving a pension affect my benefits?||
If you have retired and are not seeking employment, you are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
If you are retired and are actively seeking work, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits under the same conditions as other workers.
|Does receiving workers' compensation affect my benefits?||
If you receive New York State workers' compensation, but you are available and physically able to work, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. However, this may reduce your weekly unemployment benefit rate. The weekly total of your workers' compensation and UI benefits cannot be more than your average weekly wage in the base period.
When you file a claim for benefits, you must send to the Department of Labor:
|Can I collect unemployment benefits while on disability benefits?||If you are physically able to work, you still may be eligible for unemployment benefits. You should apply so we can make a determination.|
|If I receive dismissal or severance pay, will it affect my benefits?||
You may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance if the weekly payments of dismissal or severance are less than the maximum benefit rate.
You will not be eligible for benefits if:
You receive weekly dismissal or severance payments that are greater than the maximum weekly benefit rate; or
|Does pregnancy affect my eligibility?||
It violates federal and state law to deny benefits to any claimant because of pregnancy. If you are ready, willing and able to work, and are actively searching for work, your pregnancy does not affect benefits.
The law does not require you to disclose your pregnancy unless it affects your ability to work in your usual occupations. If your health does not allow you to work in your normal occupation, you must tell the Telephone Claim Center.
The Telephone Claims Center may verify that information with you. If you chose to leave your last job, even though you were physically able to continue working, you may not be able to collect benefits.
|Am I eligible for benefits during a leave of absence from my job?||To be eligible for unemployment insurance, you must be ready, willing and able to work, and actively looking for work. You must be ready to start work at once and be physically and mentally capable of working to receive benefits.|
|If I am not a US citizen, may I still file a claim?||
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may receive unemployment insurance if you:
Persons working without legal permission to work cannot get unemployment benefits.
|What if I want to start my own business?||
Tell the Telephone Claim Center before you take any steps to start a business. Unless you are part of the Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP), these activities may result in the loss of unemployment insurance benefits. See more information on SEAP.
The Department of Labor considers you employed if you operate or start a business:
If you spend time during the day or evening or on weekends getting ready to start or actually operating a business, we may consider that as work. It does not matter if you have not made any sales or received any compensation.
|What does the Department of Labor consider work?||
We consider you employed when you perform any services, whether this work is:
It makes no difference whether this work is in covered employment or whether you get paid for that day. For example, work on a straight commission basis is still work. It does not matter that you may not receive the commission until later. It also does not matter even if you have not made any sales nor received any compensation.
You must report any activity that brings in or may bring in income at any time.
call the Telephone Claims Center and give all the details before you claim benefits.
|What if I'm out of work due to a strike?||
If you lose your job because of a labor dispute (strike, or other industrial controversy (except for lockouts)) in the establishment where you are employed, you will not be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits for 14 days. You may be eligible sooner if:
the labor dispute ends and you are still unemployed or
|What if I get back pay after the strike is over?||You may be required to pay back some or all of the unemployment benefits you received during the strike if your employer pays you back wages after the strike is over. This requirement does not apply if you experienced a lockout.|
|What if I want to help a friend or relative?||We may consider you employed for an hours that you perform even minor duties or "favors" for a friend's or relative's business. It does not matter whether you get paid or not. Call the Telephone Claim Center and give all the details before you claim benefits.|