New York Unemployment Benefit Questions

New York Unemployment Benefit Questions

Who is eligible for New York unemployment insurance?

To qualify for unemployment benefits in New York, you’ll need to meet both monetary and non-monetary eligibility criteria. Monetary eligibility establishes that you earned enough wages during your base period from an employer who paid unemployment taxes on your behalf.

If you meet the monetary eligibility, you’ll also need to show that you lost work through no fault of your own, that you are actively seeking new employment, and that you are ready, willing, and able to accept suitable work as soon as it is offered to you. See our New York unemployment eligibility page for more details.

How to file for unemployment in New York?

The state of New York recommends that claimants submit their New York unemployment application online. This is the fastest and easiest way to submit your claim, which may also mean that you receive your benefits more quickly. If you can’t submit your application online, you can also apply over the phone. View New York unemployment phone numbers.

How long can you collect unemployment in New York?

When it comes to regular unemployment insurance benefits in New York, you can expect to receive benefits for up to 26 weeks, as long as you remain in compliance with eligibility requirements. In some cases, such as times of exceptionally high unemployment rates, you also may be able to participate in NY extended unemployment programs.

How do I set up my and PIN Number?

If you submit your initial unemployment claim over the phone, you’ll be prompted during that process to set up a PIN associated with your account. You’ll need this PIN anytime you use the state of New York’s telephone system to ask questions or make changes to your account.

If you choose to submit your claim online, you’ll need to set up an ID, which is separate from the PIN you set when you file a telephone claim. With an ID, you also can claim your weekly benefits, access additional information about your claim, and send secure messages if you have questions about your benefits.

How much New York unemployment will I receive?

Your weekly benefit amount is determined based on the amount of income you earned during your base period – which is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the quarter in which you submit your claim for unemployment benefits. Keep in mind that this is considered your basic base period.

If you fail to earn enough during this period to qualify for unemployment compensation, the state of New York then will examine your earnings during your alternate base period, which represents the last four completed calendar quarters before the quarter in which you submit your unemployment claim. Please note that if you feel you would qualify for a higher weekly benefit using your alternate base period rather than your basic base period, you can request that the New York Department of Labor recalculate your benefits.

You may also find it helpful to use the New York unemployment calculator to get a general idea of how much to expect for your weekly benefit amount. Please note that this will provide you with an estimate – it is not a guarantee of benefits. You must apply for unemployment benefits and receive an official notification to know for sure how much your weekly benefit amount will be. The maximum weekly benefit amount for the state of New York is $504.

What are the New York unemployment work search requirements?

New York unemployment work search requirements stipulate that all recipients of unemployment benefits engage in regular work search activities in an attempt to find suitable work as quickly as possible. You must make systematic and sustained efforts to find work. In order to receive unemployment benefits, the state of New York requires you to complete at least three work search activities each week you submit a weekly claim for benefits.

Work search activities may include submitting a job application, meeting with a career counselor, participating in job interviews, participating in skills assessments, and more. For all practical purposes, any activity that reasonably could contribute to your finding suitable work would be considered a work search activity.

What if my New York unemployment application is denied?

If you receive an unfavorable determination about your initial claim, you have the right to file an appeal. In New York, a request for appeal must be filed within 30 days of receiving your determination. You will likely be scheduled for a hearing before an administrative law judge, who will review the details of your case and issue a new determination.

If you disagree with the judge’s decision, you can file another appeal within 20 days to New York’s Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board. This board will review your claim and the previous decision regarding your appeal before making a new determination. If you would like to appeal further, you may do so by appealing to the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, Third Department.

Will receiving severance pay, retirement benefits, vacation pay, etc. affect my benefit amount?

In general benefit amounts are affected if you receive additional income. If a previous employer contributed to your pension fund, your benefit amount will be reduced dollar by dollar for it. If you funded your pension account yourself, your benefits will not be reduced.

Unclaimed vacation benefits do not affect your benefit amounts. Benefits will stop the moment you secure a new job.

Will receiving worker’s compensation affect my benefits?

If you receive worker’s compensation and if you are physically capable of doing work, you will be eligible for UI. However, your benefit amounts may be reduced. The sum total of your weekly worker’s compensation and your weekly benefit should not be greater than your weekly base period wages.

If you receive worker’s compensation, you must provide the following to the Dept. of Labor while filing for UI.

  • Worker’s compensation form – C8
  • A medical certificate issued by your consulting physician stating that you are mentally and physically capable of doing full time work

Always make sure that you declare any income you received at the time of job separation or later. Failure to do so may result in overpayment and you may have to return the money to the DOL. You may even be disqualified from UI.

You must tell the Telephone Claim Center about any workers’ compensation benefits you collect while you collect unemployment benefits. If you do not, you may have to repay any unemployment benefits that were overpaid.

  1. I am currently on unemployment and only have 2 weeks left on my claim. Will that claim be extended due to the corona virus bill?

    • Thomas,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  2. I have a question concerning benefits for my teachers who will be partially unemployed due to Coronavirus. Is it NY state law that they have to use vacation time first? Most, if not all will be recalled as soon as our center opens and want to keep their vacation time.

  3. I live in new York and I’m suppose to claim weekly benefits on Saturday and Sunday to get paid on Wednesday but I couldn’t get access until Monday am I going to miss out on getting paid for the whole week or just a day later?

    • Zachary,

      The weekly payments are purely based on timely filing. If you don’t file during the window, you’ll not receive the weekly payment.

  4. i am a sub para ( per-denim ) for nyc board of ed.
    i do not have a steady position although i had worked most of the year for the boe.
    I also had a part time camp job as a second income for 4 years but was let go due to budget cuts.
    i am eligible from my second job for ui but what about my doe job as well?
    do you add up the yearly income for both jobs to receive a higher amount of benefits or would it be just for the camp

    • Jessica,

      I am not sure if you can claim on the basis of contract/temporary employment. Please call the Unemployment Office for specific answers to all your questions.

  5. I was laid and the questions say I qualify. 2 questions
    1- I received 3.5 weeks vacation. Do I apply for UI after the 3.5 week period?

    2- They are returning me on a contractor roll. work s intermitted and hrs will be between 0 an 40 hrs a week. What happens the weeks I work?

    • Walter,

      Firstly, contract workers do not generally qualify. I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to get this clarified before finding specific answers to your questions.

  6. I was recently informed our company will be moving. This company is currently located in gates-Monroe county, and will be moving to Ontario county, out in Victor. this is going to more then double my commute, and I have a schedule w my daughter and getting her from the bus in time. I have been applying to every position I am qualified for but no one is calling me back. Would I be able to qualify for unemployment since the company is moving out of the county?

    • Trisha,

      Your reason for seperation from the current employment might be considered. Please call the Unemployment Office to clarify.

  7. I’m a seasonal park worker in New York State. This past summer I received multiple raises, so I should be receiving more money from unemployment than I did last year but I still have an existing claim. Is there a way that I can end my existing claim and file a new one so I can receive benifits that are appropriate for my current income?

  8. I will be unemployed as of 10/31/17 and will be out of state with my wife helping out with her 92 year old parents, will I still be able to receive benefits even though I am not in the State, but will be looking for work while out of State??

    • Steve,

      To be able to draw UI benefits, one needs to submit weekly job search reports and should have become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  9. I have lost my job as of August 6, 2017. I plan on collecting my pension from the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System on September 1, 2017. Am I eligible to collect unemployment benefits?

    • You should be eligible to claim UI benefits as long as separation from the last job was involuntary.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office to decide the extent of impact of pension payments.

  10. My workplace is moving two hours away from my current address. I do not want to leave my current apartment as it is affordable rent for me but a four hour commute to work and back will be very difficult. If I leave the job for this reason, do I qualify for unemployment?

    • You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to check if your case can be an exception.

  11. I was just let go, for missing 3 days due to injury from a car accident. I had all the appropriate doctor notes. Is that legal?

  12. My employer is executing a reduction in force, as well as relocating positions to the Midwest. I consider my position in jeopardy, and have accepted a voluntary retirement severance package. I will not receive any severance for at least 60 days. Will I qualify for Unemployment Benefits AND how will the receipt of severance payments (once they commence) impact benefits received?

    • Well, generally if an unemployed worker received a severance package, he/she should apply after the expiry of the payout. In your case, since the payment is not beginning anytime soon, please call the Unemployment Office to inquire about the procedure.

  13. I started working Feb 20, 2017 and was told today April 13, 2017 that they were laying me off due to lack of work at the present time. Employer stated that I can apply for unemployment but am I eligible?

    • To be eligible to draw UI benefits, you’re required to have active employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

  14. I worked for 2 years and 9 months but was fired due to absenteeism. trying to get placed in rehab center. Am I eligible ?

  15. I was working 26 hours per week and my hours have cut to 12 hours a week. Am I eligible for partial unemployment benefits in New York State? Thanks

    • You can be eligible for a reduction in standard hours due to involuntary reasons.

      Please consider applying for partial unemployment benefits.

  16. I am in a new job on probation. If I get let go because of job performance could I get unemployment benefits

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  17. I am terribly stressed on my current position (HelpDesk). I am trying to learn coding, but don’t have enough time left. If I quit the current job to study on my own, would I be eligible for unemployment?

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  18. My job is going to end in 30 days due to its closing down. We will be receiving a lump sum severance. After I receive my severance will I be entitled to apply for unemployment insurance?

    • Yes, John. You can apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits after the expiry of the severance payout if you haven’t found a job.

  19. I had to leave my job as my partner was being transferred to another state and our house was being sold. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits from NY and now reside in CT?

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  20. I have a job that calls me when it suits there needs, and based on when I am needed I haven’t been called in for work for 18 days. What can I do other then to be told to call the company and ask whether or not if they have more hours, because my finances are hurting?

    • From your comment above, it looks like a seasonal/part time job. Such employment contracts are generally not eligible.

      Please check with the Unemployment Office.

  21. I will be separating from my current employer as part of a Voluntary Layoff and will be receiving a bi weekly severance amount for 37 weeks, following that separation. The severance will be equal to my normal earnings. Do I qualify for unemployment if I do not find a job before I leave?

  22. I have been unemployed since June 30th 2016 and started working on a part time job that is only for two days out of the week and every other weekend since September 9, 2016. I will like to know if I can still claim for benefits during this time frame? please let me know. thanks.

    • If the reason for moving to part-time work was not voluntary, you can be eligible to claim and receive Unemployment Benefits.

  23. My employment has been terminated due to being absent from work due to long term illness. I am receiving SS disability benefits. My next visit to the doctor is November 12th and may be released to work.
    When do I apply for Unemployment benefits? How will my 15 months of receiving disability payments change my unemployment benefits payment?

    • Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered. To draw Unemployment Compensation, you should be able and available for work.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  24. I just received a severance package as a result of a layoff in NYC. The severance package will start the day after termination but the first severance payment will not be paid for at least 30 days after the termination date. Can I apply for NY unemployment benefits? When the severance pay begins will my unemployment benefits stop? Thank you for any insight.

    • You should be able to apply for UI benefits in the interim. If the Severance is paid as a lump sum, you can start applying almost immediately. Otherwise, you will be eligible only when the payout ends.

  25. MY husband was laid off the end of May. He was a full-time employee, 30 years, no severance.

    Question is; He has been on Unemployment. His old job just called him to work as a consultant for 3-4 days. IF my husband makes $1,500-2,000 in those four days, does he lose his unemployment benefits for 5 plus weeks ($425.00 per week)……
    I understand he will lose the one week just worried that it will be more. THANK YOU

    • It will have a bearing on the weekly benefits.

      To ascertain the impact, please call the Claims Center and speak to a representative.

  26. Are we still required to show up periodically to the unemployment office to continue eligibility? Since we need to keep records of any job search, including filling applications and submitting resumes, would we need to present those items upon request and, if so, is it done randomly?

    • Work search reports should be submitted regularly. However, I don’t think a claimant will be required to regularly show up at the Unemployment Office.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

  27. I live in New York City. My position is being eliminated.
    – Does the timing of the payout of my severance pay affect when I am eligible for unemployment? If severance is delayed 30 days am I eligible for unemployment benefits right after my position is eliminated?
    – Does the timing of the payout of my vacation pay affect when I am eligible for unemployment? Does this payout need to be delayed 30 days in order to be eligible or can I get this benefit right away?

    • Please apply only after all the payout period is over including severance.

      You can call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  28. I have been at my current contract position since October 12, 2015. Our contract ends April 1st, 2015. The company that contracted us is going to terminate our contract early next week. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • Contracted employees are not generally eligible.

      Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

  29. I am receiving benefits now. I found a job that will give me 4 days a week work, but only 4 hours per day for 16 hours total for the week. Will I still receive partial benefits? This is only temporary for train and probation period and can lead to full time hours, Im not sure what I should do?

  30. Our employer informed us they were closing down. We were all prepared to file for unemployment. I’ve interviewed and haven’t found anything yet. Today we were informed that a rep was coming with a listing of jobs. They include housekeeping, janitorial etc. our positions are as social workers, psychologists, evaluators etc.

    Someone asked why would these be offered to us? We all have Masters and or doctorates. They said if we refuse the position we cannot collect unemployment. Is this true? We received our30 day notice two weeks ago.

    • Absolutely not! You’re not required to accept positions that do not match your experience and qualification.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state and report this incident.

  31. Can I get UI for leaving my job due to over work and also wants to keep paying me cash when I hit overtime.And I cook alot of food there for four years .also they gave me three rises in one year to try to keep me but no matter the money its too much work for one person .And they don’t want to fix what I tell them couldn’t do it anymore my whole boby is in pain

    • Well, if you quit voluntarily, you may not be eligible.

      Please check further with the labor authorities in your state.

  32. I filed for Unemployment on the third of Dec. When should I be receiving my first payment? I try to call the customer service line and am not able to get a rep.

    • The initial claims takes anywhere between 5-7 business days to be processed and paid out. After that, weekly claims will not be an hassle.

  33. I need to know the status of my claim , am i going to receive benefits is so how long will it be before i get a payment?

  34. hi i applied a few weeks ago, i lost my job, i dont know if they approved me, i didnt get a check yet, can someone please tell me what is my status? it says “pending{, thank you rhona gorman

  35. I recently got discharged (Honorably) from military service for parenthood. I will be receiving a separation pay of about $22,000 in 30 business days (Jan 6th, 2016). Will this affect my claim for Unemployment in the state of NY? I have 50/50 custody of my two kids and my child support is based on unemployment now, even though I do not receive it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Please consider applying for UI benefits after the separation pay period is over.

      I don’t think you should have any issues with regard to applying for benefits.

  36. My employer is eliminating my position (I have been fully employed for over 30 years) and has offered for me to get 1/2 year severance pay – I will then be over 65 years old. If I can not find work after the severance has run out will I be able to get UI?

  37. I have been diagnosed with liver cancer. Biopsy next week to determine stage. Fatigue is chronic. My employer wont lay me off. If i quit, will i be able to get UI?

    • I can understand your situation.

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered. You will not be eligible.

  38. if I have say about 16 days left on my unemployment and I accept a temp assignment with a temp agency and after the assignment ends (say 6 weeks) there are no more, I start refiling I understand I again have the 1 week waiting period)I first have to use up my 16 days, but can I then file a new claim?

  39. I recently graduated highschool, and have been told I will get laid off after 15 to 16 weeks if work. Will I qualify for unemployment benefits?

  40. I retired from my former company March of 2015 if I was to work a seasonal position and than laid off from it will my benefits be based on my former employer also as well as the current one

    • Depends. They consider 4 of the last 5 calendar quarters to ascertain eligibility. If both your previous employment falls into this period, they will consider them.

      Generally, seasonal workers do not qualify. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  41. My current job will in in a few months. I assume that I will apply for unemployment at that time. I have a small Company pension I draw currently from a previous employer. Is it in stone that my unemployment will be reduced by the amount of my small pension?

  42. My existing employment contract terminates, i have been working continously for the last 15years. i will be travelling for 3 months ( volunteering overseas), am i able to claim unemployment benefits upon my return until i find work

  43. The benefit center is asking a for unemployment status letter. Do I have to write the letter myself or obtain it from a website.

    • Please speak to a representative from the customer service of the labor dept in your state to obtain more details on this.

  44. My hours were recently reduced from 40 hours to 32. Now I have been laid-off. I have since found a part-time job for 24 hrs. I take home 299.00 now. Do I qualify for unemployment assistance?

  45. If I file a claim on 3/17/14 and claim benefits for the last to Sundays when should I expect to receive my first payment?

    • Generally,its takes close to 10 business days for an initial claim to be processed.

      If you’ve not received the payment, please call the claims center immediately for status.

    • Temp layoff may not qualify for UI benefits.Please speak to a representative from NY department of labor for more information on this.

      • I am a sub. teacher and have worked the whole school year, The first 4 months was to cover for someone on medical leave from Sept. to Dec. in January I got a sub job that lasts from January till june when school ends.I do not have a full time teaching job that starts in September, am I eligible for unemployment benefits for the summer months, while I continue to look for a permanent teaching position.

        • Seasonal employment such as schooling does not qualify due to the obvious nature of job.

          Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to ascertain your qualification.

  46. I was on unemployment and it ran out
    I had a job for a month and was let go
    I didn’t meet there expectations
    do I reapply?

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