New York Unemployment Eligibility

There are two categories of eligibility criteria for UI benefits. They are

  • Non-monetary eligibility
  • Monetary eligibility

Non-monetary eligibility

  • Claimant must have lost his/her job due to no mistake of theirs
  • Should have worked minimum hours during the base period
  • Claimants should be available, willing and physically capable of doing full time work
  • Applicants should actively seek new job opportunities

Monetary eligibility

  • Claimant must have earned minimum wages during base period
  • This means that claimants must have worked for at least 2 out of 4 quarters of the base period
  • A total of $2,200 or more must be earned by the claimant during the base period
  • Total wages earned by the applicant during the base period must be 1.5 times the highest quarter earnings

Eligibility Questions

Will I be eligible for UI if I was laid off from work?

Yes. In the state of NY, you are eligible to collect UI if you were let go by your employer as part of cost cutting or other strategies. As long as your job was lost without any mistake of yours and you meet other eligibility criteria, you will qualify for UI.

You may be contacted by the DOL following the submission of your claim, to collect evidence that you were indeed laid off. The DOL will also contact your employer to confirm the facts. Should any mismatch arise, your benefit checks will be delayed until the air is cleared. Hence, make sure that the information you submit is one hundred percent genuine and accurate.



If I voluntarily quit my job, will I qualify for UI?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. In general, voluntary quits are considered as a direct negation to the first eligibility criteria, ie claimant must have lost job due to no fault of theirs. However, the state of NY does understand that there could be reasons which force an individual to quit.

If you willingly left a job without pressing reasons, you will not qualify for UI benefits. However, if reasons like discrimination, abuse or in general hostility at work was the reason behind you quitting your job, you stand a chance to qualify for UI.

The state of NY will not deem you eligible unless sufficient evidence is provided to support your story.

Can I collect UI benefits if I was fired?

Most probably, no. Federal law prohibits UI benefits from being given to those individuals whose jobs were lost due to a mistake of their own. However, if you were fired without a cause and if your previous employer is not able to provide justification as to why you were fired, you may stand a chance to receive benefits.

Any employer’s taxes is partly based on number of ex-employees who have collected UI benefits.

Got more questions? Check our Q&A Section and benefit questions.

More information on New York unemployment here –
Questions on Eligibility
Calculate your weekly benefit amount
Unemployment Office locations and telephone number



  1. If I was terminated from a full time position and fill in occasionally/substitute teach 10-16 hours every few weeks, can I still file for unemployment? Thank you

  2. I HAVE WORKED FOR SAME CO. FOR 3 YEARS AT 40+HRS AWEEK.DUE TO OPENING OF ANOTHER PLANT THEY HAVE CUT OUR HRS. TO 32 PER WEEK.IF IN THE FUTCHER WE ARE LAYED OFF, WILL I STILL BE ELIGABLE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT?

    • First of all, seasonal employment is generally not considered as an eligibility factor.You would need at least an year in hand.

  3. I resigned from my position (gave 2 weeks notice) due to the fact that I was not paid for days I worked, or services performed. I was sent a letter stating that my employment was terminated that day and I could not finish my 2 weeks.

  4. I resigned from my position – gave 2 wks notice, due to the fact that my employer has neglected to pay me for days, services that I have worked. I received a letter from them stating that I was terminated from my position that same day

  5. Can my husband be eligible for unemployment while on short term disability? He was taken out of work from his employer at no request from him.

  6. I worked only from October 1 – 12/31 this year and was fired from a part time job (I am retired collecting Social Security and this is the first job I’ve had since 2009). I was fired because “I didn’t fit in” and “poor customer service”. Can I collect benefits?

  7. My company was taken over without notice, I was asked to stay at current rate of pay, lose my benefit time including 3 weeks of vacation, put on probation and had been told I was not eligible for a raise for a year. my previous raises were denied as well as the company was under foreclosure and not being upfront. 401 k was also absolved not allowing me to advance, contribute to my IRA and my hourly rate decreased. The losses cant be regained and my vacation time would take me ten years to get what i started with. I was asked to apply for my cuurent position. I offered myself as per diem while I sought work that offered what I initially had and was turned down. I am not sure if i am eligible as the company no longer exists.

  8. If I am working in a hostile environment and I quit due the hostility of my boss, am I able to collect benefits without any interruption in the claim process?

    • If your work environment is hostile you may qualify. However, have you done anything to try to make the situation any better? Not sure what “interruption” in the claim process you are worried about. Claims can be processed rather fast, they will give the employer a specific amount of time to respond and whether the employer responds or not, they make the decision based on the information they have. High unemployment can slow the process a bit.

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