How To Collect Unemployment Benefits In New York

by ECL Writer
Unemployment In New York

Unemployment benefits can be a crucial lifeline for individuals who have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. In New York, the state’s Department of Labor administers the unemployment insurance program, which provides financial assistance to eligible individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. If you are a resident of New York and have lost your job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, the process of applying for and collecting these benefits can be complex and confusing. In this article, will provide a step-by-step guide on how to collect unemployment benefits in New York, including information on eligibility requirements, how to file a claim, and how to certify for weekly benefits. By following these steps, you can help ensure that you receive the financial assistance you need during this difficult time.

What Employment Do I Need To Qualify For Benefits?

For claims filed in 2023, you must have received at least $3,100 in wages in one of the calendar quarters (up from $2,900 for claims filed in 2022), and the total wages paid to you in your base period must be one and a half times your high quarter wages. You must have worked and been paid wages for work in at least two calendar quarters in your base period.

To decide if you qualify, we take into account no more than $11,088 of your highest quarter’s profits. At least half of that sum ($5,544) must have been earned during the other base period quarters.

We establish your claim using that period if you meet the requirements using the Basic base period. We will compute using the Alternative basis period if you are not eligible during the Basic base period.
You could believe that using the Alternative base period would result in a better benefit rate provided you meet the eligibility requirements for the Basic base period. You have the option to request that we recalculate your rate using the alternative base period. The request must be made within 10 days of the initial notice date.

They may extend the Basic base period back up to two calendar quarters if you did not qualify using either base period and you obtained Workers’ Compensation benefits or volunteer Firefighters’ compensation during that time. How many base period quarters you were eligible for these rewards will determine this.

If you did work for pay throughout the calendar quarter in which you filed your application but do not qualify for any of the aforementioned base periods, and you remain jobless after the conclusion of the quarter, and you think that you may qualify using the latest work, then you should apply again for benefits after this calendar quarter ends.


Wages used to support one claim are worthless for subsequent claims. You can’t utilize them once more. Your eligibility for a later claim could be impacted by this.
You cannot establish a claim or determine your benefit rate using any wages that were provided to you for the work if you were fired due to misconduct or a criminal offense.
In order to be eligible for a new claim while making a repeat unemployment insurance claim, you must have received new wages that are at least 10 times your benefit rate throughout the benefit year.

How Do I Know If I May File A Claim?

By law, the unemployment insurance program provides benefits to people who:

  • Have enough employment to establish a claim
  • Have lost employment through no fault of their own
  • Are ready, willing, and able to work and
  • Are actively seeking work

You have the right to submit a claim for benefits if you worked in New York State within the previous 18 months. Even if you are unsure, they urge you to submit a claim. Even if a former employer informed you that you would not be eligible or that you were not “covered,” you should still submit a claim. Your eligibility will be determined independently by the department. To be eligible for benefits, you must fulfill the requirements imposed by law.

When you file a claim and we have all the necessary information, they can only assess if you are eligible for compensation.
You might be qualified for assistance if:

  • You lost your job due to a lack of work
  • The temporary or seasonal employment ended
  • Your job was eliminated
  • There was an involuntary reduction in force
  • The company downsized or shut down
  • The company restructured or reorganized
  • There was a lack of company operating funds/orders 
  • You were out of work for any other business reason that you did not choose or control
  • Your employer discharged or fired you because you could not meet their performance or production standards, or their qualifications for the job

You may be denied benefits if you:

  • Were fired because you violated a company policy, rule, or procedure, such as absenteeism or insubordination
  • Quit your job without a good cause, such as a compelling personal reason
  • Are you out of work because of a work stoppage (except for lockouts) in the last 14 days that violated an existing collective bargaining agreement where you worked (You need not actually take part in the strike, only be out of work because of it.)

Amount And Duration Of NYS Unemployment Benefits

Your weekly unemployment compensation is calculated by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), up to a maximum of $504 per week, by dividing your wages for the highest-paying quarter of the base period by 26. (If your highest paid quarter’s earnings were less than $3,575, your earnings are multiplied by 25 to determine your weekly benefit amount.)

Benefits are offered for a maximum of 26 weeks. In times of economic distress or high unemployment, you may qualify for Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and/or state extended benefits if you are still unemployed when your regular state benefits expire.

How To File An Unemployment Claim In New York

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.

Sign in or create an ID account and follow the instructions to file a claim. 

If you have never filed a claim for benefits in New York State, you must create a PIN. This is a four-digit number that you must keep confidential. This PIN will be used to access the system to certify for weekly benefits and update your account. 

Ready? Make sure you have with you:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver’s license or Motor Vehicle ID card number (if you have either one)
  • Your complete mailing address and zip code
  • A phone number where we can reach you from 8 am – 5 pm, Monday –Friday
  • Your Alien Registration card number (if you are not a U.S. Citizen and have a card)
  • Names and addresses of all your employers for the last 18 months, including those in other states
  • Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your most recent employer (FEIN is on your W-2 forms)
  • Your copies of forms SF8 and SF50, if you were a federal employee
  • Your most recent separation form (DD 214), for military service

You can file a claim without all of these documents. However, missing information can delay your first payment.

If you cannot print web pages, have a pen and paper to copy information.

If you choose direct deposit of your weekly benefits, you will need your bank routing and checking account numbers. You cannot choose direct deposit if you file your claim by telephone.

Apply By Telephone

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.

How To Appeal A Denial Of Unemployment Benefits In New York

The Monetary Determination will inform you if your application for unemployment compensation is rejected because you did not fulfill the job and earnings conditions. If benefits are granted but you feel the agency has withheld wages or employment history, you may submit a Request for Reconsideration of that decision. The organization will examine your request and any facts you supply before issuing a new determination.

You will receive a different Notice of Decision if you are refused benefits for another reason, such as the fact that you left your previous work without justification. Within 30 days of the date of the notification, you have the right to appeal a benefit rejection by submitting a written request for an administrative law judge hearing. A hearing will be scheduled after receiving your appeal request. Your claim will be decided by the administrative law judge, who will then write up their judgment.

After the hearing, you can appeal the verdict to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board if you don’t agree with it. (Only if you were present for the administrative law judge’s hearing may you appeal.) After reviewing the data, the appeals board will render a written verdict. If you don’t agree with this choice, you can bring a civil complaint to the Third Department of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court.

The NYSDOL provides information on every aspect of the unemployment process at its website. select “Unemployment Assistance” to apply for benefits online, find out current eligibility requirements and benefit amounts, learn about the appeals process, and much more.

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