Unemployment Benefits In New York: All You Need To Know

by ECL Writer
How Do I Know If My Unemployment Claim Was Approved in New York?

Losing your job can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but the good news is that there are programs in place to help you get back on your feet. If you are living in New York and have recently become unemployed, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. These benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to those who are out of work and actively seeking employment. However, navigating the unemployment benefits system can be complicated and confusing, especially if you are new to the process. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will walk you through all you need to know about unemployment benefits in New York, from determining your eligibility to submitting your application and everything in between. We’ll also provide you with some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your benefits and get back to work as soon as possible.

How Do Unemployment Benefits Work In New York?

Unemployment benefits are designed to provide temporary financial assistance to eligible individuals who are unemployed and actively seeking work. In New York State, unemployment benefits are administered by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).

To be eligible for unemployment benefits in New York, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own and meet certain work and wage requirements. You must also be actively seeking work and willing and able to work. Additionally, you must be available to accept work when offered and must not refuse any suitable job offers.

Once you have determined that you are eligible for unemployment benefits in New York, you can apply online through the NYSDOL website or by phone. The application will ask you to provide information about your employment history, including your previous employers, job titles, and dates of employment. You will also need to provide your social security number, contact information, and banking information if you want to receive your benefits via direct deposit.

After you submit your application, it will be reviewed by the NYSDOL to determine your eligibility for benefits. If you are found to be eligible, you will receive a monetary determination letter that will tell you the amount of your weekly benefit and the maximum number of weeks you can receive benefits based on your earnings history.

Once you begin receiving unemployment benefits in New York, you must continue to certify every week that you are unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements. You can certify online or by phone and will need to report any earnings you have received during the week, as well as any job search activities you have completed.

The amount of your weekly benefit in New York is based on your earnings history and is subject to a minimum and maximum amount. As of 2021, the minimum weekly benefit amount in New York is $104, and the maximum weekly benefit amount is $504. In addition, eligible individuals may also be eligible for additional benefits under the federal CARES Act, such as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides benefits to self-employed individuals and independent contractors.

Unemployment benefits in New York provide temporary financial assistance to eligible individuals who are unemployed and actively seeking work. To be eligible, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own, meet certain work and wage requirements, and be actively seeking work. If you are found to be eligible, you can apply online or by phone and will receive a monetary determination letter that will tell you the amount of your weekly benefit and the maximum number of weeks you can receive benefits.

How Can I Qualify For New York Unemployment Benefits?

To qualify for unemployment benefits in New York, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements include:

  • You must have lost your job through no fault of your own. This means that you were laid off or terminated due to reasons beyond your control, such as a business closure, a reduction in force, or a company reorganization.
  • You must have worked and earned wages for a minimum amount of time prior to your job loss. This is known as the “base period,” which is typically the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before your unemployment claim. During this time, you must have earned a minimum of $2,600 in wages.
  • You must be able and available to work. This means that you are physically and mentally capable of working and are actively seeking employment. You must also be available to accept work when offered and must not refuse any suitable job offers.
  • You must be registered with the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) for work search services. This involves creating an account on the NYSDOL website and posting your resume online or contacting employers directly.
  • You must have earned enough wages during your base period to qualify for unemployment benefits. The NYSDOL will calculate your weekly benefit amount based on your earnings history and the maximum number of weeks you can receive benefits.

It’s important to note that there are certain situations where you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits in New York, such as if you were fired for misconduct or quit your job voluntarily without good cause. Additionally, you may be disqualified from receiving benefits if you fail to meet the weekly work search requirements or if you refuse a suitable job offer.

How Much Might I Get?

Your weekly unemployment compensation in New York is calculated by looking at your wages during a time period called the “base period.” The first four calendar quarters (out of the previous five finished quarters) before the quarter in which you apply for unemployment benefits are covered by New York’s basic base period.

You must satisfy each of these earnings requirements for the base period in order to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

  • Earned wages at jobs covered by unemployment insurance in at least two calendar quarters
  • Received payment of at least $2,600 in one calendar quarter (if you file a claim in 2020)
  • Received total wages that are at least 1.5 times the amount of wages earned in your highest quarter

Your weekly benefit rate will be 1/26 of your high-quarter earnings from your base period (or 1/25 if they were less than $3,575). For instance, if your base period earnings were $4,394, the state would divide that sum by 26 to determine your $169 weekly payout.

In New York, the range of weekly unemployment benefits for claims filed on or after January 6, 2020, is from $104 to $504. Furthermore, it’s feasible that these maximums can vary during recessions or other challenging economic periods because states are allowed to alter their benefits during times of crisis.

How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits In New York

The online portal of the state department of labor is the most effective way to submit a new unemployment insurance claim in New York. Your last name’s first letter determines which day of the week you should apply, and you’ll need an NY.gov ID to log into the portal. Using the department of labor’s online services page, you can create an NY.gov account if you don’t already have one. But, you must wait at least one business day after submitting a phone application for unemployment benefits before registering online.

During the agency’s COVID-19 increased hours of 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday Eastern time, you can also call the claim center at 1-888-209-8124.

If you apply over the phone or online, you must submit some basic information, such as…

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license or motor vehicle ID card number
  • Mailing address with ZIP code
  • Alien registration card number if not a U.S. citizen
  • Names and addresses of all employers for the last 18 months
  • Your most recent employer’s employer registration number or federal employer identification number, or FEIN
  • Copies of forms SF8 and SF50 if you were a federal employee
  • Most recent Form DD 214 for separation if you were in the military
  • A check with your bank routing and checking account numbers if you want to receive payments by direct deposit

Take note that filing without all of this information could delay your first payment.

How Will I Receive My Payments?

You’ll have to wait a week to get your first payout if your claim is approved. You will nevertheless need to fulfill all prerequisites for that week. Normally, it takes two to three weeks from the time you file a claim until you get your first payment, but it could take longer if the state requires more details.

If you signed up for a direct deposit, your money should be in your account three business days after the department of labor releases it. The state will pay your weekly benefits via a “Key2Benefits” debit card, which is a debit Mastercard that you can use to make purchases or withdraw cash from an ATM if you chose not to sign up for a direct deposit. Within seven to ten days after your application for benefits is granted, the state will mail you the card. By checking your account at any ATM operated by KeyBank or Allpoint for free, by phoning KeyBank’s customer care, or by visiting its website, you can keep track of your balance.

Typically, federal, state, and local taxes are applied to unemployment benefits, so you’ll need to declare them on your tax returns. You can decide to have New York deduct taxes from your payments every week.

When Do My Benefits End?

In New York, if you qualify for unemployment benefits, you can normally get them for up to 26 weeks throughout the course of a year. But, in times of economic crisis, benefits might be extended.

That being said, if you stop fulfilling all eligibility requirements, you risk losing your benefits. You must verify your benefits each week by phoning the state’s helpline or using its website to request payment if you want to keep receiving payments. In essence, you’re attesting to the state that you were still jobless over the previous week. Also, if the department of labor requests proof of your job search activities, you’ll need to show that you’ve followed all applicable state regulations.

What Can Disqualify You From Unemployment Benefits In NY?

There are several situations that can disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits in New York. These include:

  • Quitting your job voluntarily without good cause: If you quit your job without a good reason related to your work, such as unsafe working conditions or harassment, you may be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.
  • Being fired for misconduct: If you were fired from your job because of misconduct, such as theft, insubordination, or repeated violations of company policies, you may be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.
  • Refusing suitable job offers: If you refuse a suitable job offer without a good reason, you may be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. A suitable job offer is one that is comparable to your previous employment in terms of pay, skills required, and working conditions.
  • Failing to meet the weekly work search requirements: To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must actively seek work and report your job search activities to the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) each week. If you fail to meet the work search requirements or report your activities accurately, you may be disqualified from receiving benefits.
  • Receiving severance pay or other forms of income: If you receive severance pay or other forms of income, such as vacation pay, sick pay, or workers’ compensation, you may be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits or have your benefits reduced.

It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the NYSDOL will evaluate your eligibility based on the specific circumstances of your job loss and work history. If you are denied unemployment benefits, you have the right to appeal the decision within 30 days of the determination. You can do this by filing an appeal online or by mail and providing any additional information or evidence that supports your claim.

What If My Claim Is Rejected?

You will receive a “notice of determination” in the mail outlining the department’s decision to deny your claim if it is. If your benefit was terminated because you didn’t satisfy the requirements, the letter will explain how to request a hearing and how to become eligible again.

How To Appeal A Denial Of Unemployment Benefits In New York

If you have been denied unemployment benefits in New York, you have the right to appeal the decision within 30 days of the determination. Here are the steps you can take to appeal a denial of unemployment benefits in New York:

  • Review your determination letter: Your determination letter will explain why you were denied benefits and the deadline for filing an appeal. Review this letter carefully and make note of the reasons for the denial.
  • File an appeal: To file an appeal, you must complete and submit the “Request for Reconsideration” form that came with your determination letter, or you can file an appeal online through the NYSDOL website. Be sure to include any additional information or evidence that supports your claim, such as documentation of your work search activities or a letter from your former employer.
  • Attend the hearing: After you file your appeal, a hearing will be scheduled with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) from the NYSDOL. The hearing will be conducted by phone or in person, and you will have the opportunity to present your case and provide any additional evidence or witnesses. The ALJ will then issue a decision on your appeal.
  • Appeal the decision: If you are still denied benefits after the hearing, you can appeal the decision to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (UIAB) within 20 days of the ALJ’s decision. The UIAB will review your case and issue a final decision.
  • Seek legal assistance: If you are having difficulty navigating the appeals process or need legal advice, you may want to seek assistance from an attorney or a legal aid organization.

It’s important to note that the appeals process can take several weeks or even months, so it’s important to be patient and persistent. Keep copies of all documents and correspondence related to your case, and be prepared to provide any additional information or evidence that may be requested.

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