New York Unemployment Eligibility
Non Monetary Eligibility
- Have enough employment to establish a claim
- Have lost employment through no fault of their own
- Are ready, willing and able to work
- Are actively seeking work
- Your job was eliminated
- The company downsized or shut down
If you worked in New York State within the last 18 months, you have the right to file a claim for benefits.
The New York State Department of Labor employs a base period to decide eligibility as well as the weekly benefit amount (WBA). The state uses the first four of the last five quarters before filing a claim for unemployment compensation.
New York State also uses an alternate base period for claimants who do not meet eligibility requirements with the basic base period. The alternate base period is the last four completed quarters before filing a claim for benefits.
- Claimants should have worked and obtained wages in at least two quarters of the base period and must have also made a total of $1,600 during a least one of those calendar quarters.
- In addition, the total wages of your base period must be at least 1.5 times the highest quarter earnings.
The state computes the weekly benefit amount by dividing the total earnings for the highest paying quarter in the base period by 26. The weekly benefit amount cannot exceed the maximum of $405.
For those earning $3,575 or less in the highest paying quarter, the state will divide the earnings by 25 to decide the WBA.
Can I Collect Unemployment If I am Laid Off?
In a tough economic condition, many employers have to make tough choices about their staff, including who is needed to the company and who to let go.
If laid off from a New York state employer, you can obtain unemployment benefits from the state’s Department of Labor (DOL). However, if there is any problem as to whether you were laid off, you may have to illustrate proof of the reason for your job separation.
When you apply to the DOL for unemployment, the agency will confirm the details of your claim. It will get in touch with your former employer to find out why you were separated from your job. New York employers’ payroll taxes are determined in part by how many of their former employees receive unemployment. Your former employer will therefore share any information it has regarding your job termination, making you disqualified for benefits.
Can I collect Unemployment if I quit my job?
New York unemployment benefits need you to meet several eligibility guidelines to obtain benefits. Before you receive benefits, the state assesses your claim to verify you meet all of them, including one about willingly leaving gainful employment without cause. In some cases, you can quit your job to obtain benefits but it must fall under the restricted exceptions to the rule.
When you apply for jobless benefits, the state Department of Labor enquires you for the reason you are unemployed. It then contacts your former employer to confirm the reason. During this process you may have to present proof that backs up your claim to benefits.
For example, if you quit because your employer moved your job, you may need the note your employer gave you signifying the move. If you quit for health reasons, you can illustrate the state a notarized letter from your health provider.
Can I obtain Unemployment if I am Fired?
Federal law prevents states from offering unemployment benefits to claimants who are unemployed through their own fault. In New York, this includes claimants fired for cause by their former employers. The load of proof falls on the former employer, though, so if the state Employment Security Commission doesn’t obtain evidence you were fired for cause, you may still collect benefits.
However, if your employer does provide evidence, you can collect only if you can provide more-compelling evidence that you weren’t fired for cause.
When you apply for New York unemployment benefits, the Employment Security Commission asks you why you are without a job. Then it contacts your former employer to confirm the reason. Your former employer’s payroll tax rate is partly based on the number of previous employees it has that have collected unemployment benefits. So, it has an interest in keeping unqualified claimants from receiving benefits. If you were fired, your former employer will inform the Employment Security Commission in its answer to your claim.