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. I am the only minority Asian guy in my unit, I worked in a NYC government agency for 10+ years, my only promotion was years ago, before my hiring manager retired. Since then, the Hispanic new manager has always told me he has no plan for promotion for me even though all my performance evaluations are satisfactory all these years. Mean while all white female coworkers have been promoted more than once and the woman from his country is also promoted manager.
    Lately I got a license that is gold standard in my work industry and the Hispanic manager has told me that I am unskilled, undeveloped and have already given enough chances to me to develop in a meeting.
    After the meeting, I feel repulsed and discriminated against.
    Do I quality for UI if I quit citing discrimination and unfair treatment or should I contact my EEO officer? I am very tired of his BS.

    1. I can understand your situation. If you feel discriminated against, please contact EEO officer before making a decision to quit. Make use of local laws to get justice.

  2. 1. I work full time and I am going back to college to further my education, I have offered to reduce my hours to part time status will I be eligible if my employer decides to decline my part time status and I lose my job?
    2. I have a part time job will that affect how much I can receive from unemployment? and will I have to attempt to obtain full time employment while in school?

    1. JP,

      Unemployment insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office to determine eligibility.

  3. Hello,
    I’ve been with my firm for about 10 years full time. I’m being let go due to business re-structuring. I’m being given a lump some payment. I work in NYC.
    Can I still file for unemployment?

    1. Juan,

      Yes, you can be eligible. If the lump sum payment is a one-time payout, please apply for UI benefits immediately. Else, please wait for it to end.

  4. I worked for a union truck company almost 20 years ago that contributed to my pension and they closed. My current employer I have worked for 15 years and they do not contribute to my pension, I have elected to collect my pension from the past now, and I was laid off from my current employer due to lack of work, can I collect both?

    1. Mary,

      You should be able to collect both as long as you continue looking for employment. You may contact the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  5. I quit a job in May. Took a temporary full-time position in July and will conclude the assignment at the end of November. Would I qualify for any UI benefits? Worked Jan-April (4mos) and Jul-Nov (4mos) full-time.

    1. Kevin,

      If the temporary employment paid into the system, you should be eligible to claim UI benefits. Please check with your employer or call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  6. IF i work full time year round for my employer and own a seasonal farm stand llc thats open three months but work full time elsewhere can I draw unemployment if im layed off off the employer during the off season of my buisness?

    1. Toni,

      People working in seasonal employment do not generally qualify due to obvious nature of work. Please contact the Unemployment Office to determine if you’re eligible.

  7. My job is offering a voluntary layoff due to restructuring and offering a severence package. If I take it will I still qualify for unemployment?

  8. I think im about to get fired from my job due to performance issues apparently even though I was told by my Union Representative that it cant happen. I want to resign due to the stress of the job and also I feel my manager/supervisors dont like me for whatever reason. Will i qualify for UI benefits?

    1. Ashley,

      If you resign, it may be considered voluntary. However, if you’re able to prove the hostility and stressful environment, you can be eligible. Before making a decision, please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  9. I have been working third shift for the last 6 years and was told starting October 7th that my position was being moved to first and second shift. This interferes with my child care and ability to be home with my children. If I quit my job sue to this, am I eligible for Unemployment Benefits?

  10. My manager cut my salary twice for last month to 37% down because I didn’t meet my numbers. Can I quit and get unemployment because of this crazy cut? I would start to search something new then

    1. Lil,

      If you quit, it will be considered voluntary since its “performance” in question. You may not be eligible to claim UI benefits.

  11. Am a seasonal employee for the city of nyc, for the past 7 yrs. I applied for the UI for 2 yrs in a roll and was denied. I used to get UI before with just 3 months of work. I start work at the ending of May and end in the middle of sept. will my wages of last year be used this year in order to be eligible for UI

  12. I work at a hotel and for the past 2 weeks I was only scheduled for 7 hours due to the lack of work. Can i claim partial unemployement for those weeks. I used to work 24-40hrs a week prior to that.

    1. If you’re on the rolls of the Hotel, you can be eligible to claim partial UI benefits.

      Please consider applying for the hours lost.

  13. I’m working part time and collecting Social Security also (age 74). If I get laid off, will I be able to collect UI while collecting social security? If so will my Social security be reduced while collecting UI? Also I work at home in NY while the company is Virginia Based. Will that have any impact on collecting?

    1. One can be eligible to collect UI benefits whilst drawing SS benefits. The impact and quantum depend on multiple factors.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to discuss further.

  14. I am was hire full-time to work for an accounting firm. I have now been reduced to 4 days a week and was told that after June 30th that my hours are to be cut to 7 hours a day for 3 days a week. Can I quit and collect unemployment, or collect partial unemployment for those days that I am losing?

    1. If you quit voluntarily, you will not be eligible to draw UI benefits.

      Instead, please consider applying for partial Unemployment for the hours lost.

  15. I resigned from my job last Friday and noted on my resignation that due to the stress from my job affecting my health that I was resigning on that day. The entire billing department resigned (except for one new employee of six months)due to on the job harassment. I have medical documentation for 2 visits to see my doctor within a month before I resigned. Can I apply for UI?

    1. You can be eligible if you’re able to prove the hostile conditions and provide supporting documents in case of a dispute.

  16. This coming October I am most likely am going to be let go from my job because I have to do an internship for my Masters program. Will I be eligible for unemployment insurance? And what is the criteria for such a situation? Thanks

    1. Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons such as “Layoffs”.

  17. I am retired and have been working part time for years. I was delivering for a pharmacy part time for a few years I left for another part time job paying far better money. I have only been with the new job for almost 3 months. Today my new employer stated my job was being put on hold apparently after a conversation the Hospital cannot justify my salary for what I am doing. I asked if I was being laid off and she said no just being taken off the schedule until May. She said call her May 1st. Am I eligible for unemployment. I am healthy and willing to work. I was per diem if that helps. Thank you for your time and consideration in this most important matter…….Paul

    1. There are multiple factors that come into play which includes the nature of employment. If you’re working on the payroll (not on contract), please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility.

  18. I was hurt at work but have been denied Worker’s Compensation. I have been unable to perform current full time duties due to circumstances resulting from original accident in 3/15 thru recurrence period of 8/28/15. Have not been offered light duty. It has been 17 months without income. Do I qualify for benefits?

    1. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only offered to those who’re able and available for work.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  19. I recently signed a contract for a position not paid on an hourly basis. I declined the position later the same day and am concerned I may have become ineliglible for unemployment. I have not been paid by this company as my current employer is Verizon wireless and they are closing my contact center effective Jan 27, 2017. I will remain employed by them til that date as well as thay are paying a severance and health benefits for 21 weeks.

    1. You can be eligible to claim UI benefits after the expiry of the severance payout if you haven’t found employment yet.

  20. I have been working at the same agency for over 4 years now, but only 4 of those months have been through a legit payroll system. The other payments were sent via PayPal. I received an email saying that that they need to lay me off due to financial constraints. Since I’ve only been on the books for 4 months, would I still qualify for unemployment? Thanks for your help.

    1. UI benefits are generally not offered to contract workers.

      To qualify for benefits, one needs to have active employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

  21. I was let go as a vendor from a company because I approached them about late payment. Must I be a full time employee before I claim for UI?

    1. Depends. You can be eligible to quit the job voluntarily under hostile working conditions and receive UI compensation.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  22. I work min hours at a fast food place and I went out on a personal injury. I work 27-28 hours a week. I work 1.5 years for this company. could I still get unemployed benefits.

    1. Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health are not considered. If the injury is work related, please explore Workers Comp. program.

      If the hours were reduced involuntarily, please consider applying for UI benefits.

  23. Our company is going to shut down part of the plant for 1 week due to lack of work. I have 2 weeks of paid vacation time I haven’t used yet. Can I apply for unemployment insurance and receive my vacation pay while getting my waiting week in?

    1. Not sure how it works in your state.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for precise information.

  24. i was fired but also have a per diam job. how do i file unemployment? i only work like one day a week as a per diam person.

    1. Well, you may not qualify if you’re working on a daily wage basis.

      Please check with your employer if they remit relevant taxes to the state and apply accordingly.

  25. I’ve been working in US territory for 7 months but still own a house in NY. If I leave my job to come back home will I be able to claim until I find a new job?

    1. If your employer is paying the relevant taxes on your behalf, you can claim.

      Please note, if you quit the job voluntarily, you will not be eligible.

  26. I have been working at my place of employment for almost 5 years now, a new girl was hired in September and is making more than I am for doing less than what I do, I accidentally saw her paycheck and in turn she called the cops on me because she felt since I saw it I was going to steal her identity. I never had problems in the work place until she was hired. I feel personally attacked and I feel this is a very hostile work environment. I am thinking of quitting, would I be able to qualify for benefits?

    1. Yes, you can qualify for benefits if you quit due to hostile work environment.

      In case of a dispute, please be ready with sufficient proofs.

  27. I recently started a new job. They then told me I had no choice and was going to be paid under the table along with the other two employees. The Server wages went up and I questioned them about what they were going to do about it. They said if I wanted the wage increase, then I had to be put on the books. I immediately said to put me on the books. I worked the next day and was given wages under the table again. I asked them to explain this, and was told that they were not going to put anyone on the books. I gave my two weeks notice then and was then let go then. Can I collect unemployment? I only wanted to be paid legally and what the minimum wage was.

    1. I guess you should be able to, provided you fulfill the eligibility criteria.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Authorities in your state and proceed accordingly.

  28. how will i be notified if i am eligible for benefits after i have completed the application and started calling in weekly for benefits.

  29. May I be qualified for ui if ive been working with my employer for 6 months and I voluntarily quit due to lack of hours and not following my request to have sundays off because I have church?

    1. You will not qualify to receive unemployment insurance as you quit voluntarily.

      Compensation is only provided to those who lose their job due to no fault of their own.

    1. Not sure if you will be eligible.

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

    1. You need to have at least an year of continuous employment to qualify for unemployment compensation.

  30. I was given a two-week notice. I am being laid off by a new employer,who bought our office two months ago. I did work for a previous employer for more than 7 years. Am i eligible for unemployment benefits? And, how do i find out about the new employer’s identification number? Thank you

    1. If you are loosing your job involuntarily,please consider applying.

      Ask your new employer about the identification number.

      1. Thank you for a prompt response.
        Is there another way to find about employer identification number than asking an employer (just, in case,if employer refuses to give it out?
        Thank you

  31. I work in the school district from February till June part time I am going back in September however I work in Monticello before I give them them two week notice in the end of January am I entice to unemployment for July and august

    1. Seasonal employment does not qualify.

      Please go ahead and check with the labor dept in your state for any special rules in this regard.

  32. Can I received unemployment if I was hired as a consultant and worked 30 hours per week? and if my benefits were extended after I was employed can I receive those benefits?

  33. If I work in ny and live in nj and quit my job due the expense of commuting, will I qualify for unemployment benefits?

  34. I work part-time in a college library from September to May, but am unemployed during the summer months. Am I entitled to unemployment benefits for the almost 4 months that I am not working?

    1. Seasonal employment does not generally qualify. Please check with the labor dept in your state.

  35. 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


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

  37. 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.

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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?

    1. can a person collect NYS Unemployment benefits if they are collecting social security benefits ?

  41. 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.

  42. 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?

    1. 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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