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New York Unemployment Phone Number

There are many reasons you may want to contact New York unemployment office staff. You might require help with filing a new claim, certifying your weekly unemployment benefits, finding jobs, payment questions, appeals, or something else. Whatever your reason is, you can always call a New York unemployment office for assistance.

Information to have when calling the NY unemployment office

Before calling a New York state unemployment office, it’s helpful to gather all the information you will need to provide so that you don’t have to scramble to locate the information during the call or have to hang up and call back later.

Before calling, be sure to have the following information available:

  • ID
  • PIN
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s License or Motor Vehicle ID Card (if you own one)
  • Alien Registration Card Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Mailing Address with Zip Code
  • Phone Number you can be reached at Monday-Friday from 8 AM-5 PM
  • Employer Registration Number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN on your W-2 tax forms) of your most recent employer
  • Names and Addresses of your employers from the last 18 months
  • Copies of your SF8 and SF50 forms (if you were a federal government employee)
  • Your most recent separation form (DD 214, if you served in the military)

New York Unemployment Phone Numbers

There are a wide variety of reasons why you may need to call New York unemployment staff. It is important to call the appropriate New York unemployment phone number to contact the New York department that handles your specific needs. The following list will give you the New York unemployment contact and availability information you need to help you find the right phone number to call:

In case you file by phone, the unemployment department offers translation services. Use your phone keypad to enter the number for the language you want. A voice recording will offer you the following choices:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin
  • Creole
  • All other languages

New York Phone Numbers

Tel-Service (File claim for benefits) (888) 581-5812
Tel-Service TTD/TDD (877) 205-3119
Video Relay collections unit (888) 783-1370
Telephone Claims Center (888) 209-8124
Telephone Claims Center TTY/TDD (800) 662-1220
1099G Form Questions-TDD (866) 284-6695
KeyBank Customer Service (866) 295-2955
Unemployment Insurance Fraud Hotline (888) 598-2077 ID Frequently Asked Questions (800) 833-3000
NYSDOL (888) 469-7365
Appeal Board (518) 402-0205
Claimant Advocate Office (855) 528-5618
The 599 Program Central Review Unit (518) 402-0189

Tel-Service Automated Phone Service: 888-581-5812, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call this phone number for NY unemployment weekly certification or to check your New York unemployment insurance benefit payment status. If you are deaf or hard of hearing (TTY/ TDD), contact a relay operator at 800-662-1220 and ask them to call 888-783-1370. If you use Video Relay or another relay system, have the operator call 888-783-1370.

Telephone Claims Center: 888-209-8124, available Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. Press 9 if you need an interpreter. For TTY/TDD users, call (800) 662-1220 and ask the relay operator to call 888-783-1370. For video or other kinds of relay service users, ask the relay operator to call 888-783-1370.

Call this center if you need to:

  • File an unemployment claim or ask a staff member specific questions regarding your weekly benefit claim.
  • Change your contact address or phone number.
  • Obtain your 1099-G tax form.
  • Change your tax withholding. Choose the option to talk with a representative about a claim you have already filed, then enter your Social Security Number and PIN. Press 3 to change your federal tax withholding or press 4 to change your state tax withholding.
  • To report any mistakes made when claiming your weekly benefits.
  • To inquire with the NYS Department of Labor about your work availability status when traveling outside the United States or your local labor market area.

New York State Department of Labor Contact Center: 800-833-3000, available Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Press 2 to speak with a representative. Call this number if you need help with creating or using an ID.

KeyBank Customer Service: 866-295-2955. Call this number for debit card unemployment assistance.

General Help: 888-469-7365, available Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Call this number for assistance with payments or to find a Career Center near you.

Fraud Reporting: To report suspected unemployment insurance fraud, including identity theft, call 888-598-2077 to report claimant fraudulent claims or 866-435-1499 to report employer fraudulent claims.

Payment History: To request a payment history record of your unemployment insurance benefits, call 888-581-5812 and follow the prompts given to ask about your unemployment benefits payment status.

Missed Payments: To request UI benefits payment for a missed week, fax your request to 518-457-9378.

Appeals & Hearings: To request a NY unemployment appeal hearing, you can send a fax to 518-457-9378 within 30 days of receiving your monetary Determination Notice. Make sure to put your Social Security number in the top right hand corner of all the pages.

How do you get a hold of a live person at the NY DOL unemployment division?

How To Reach New York

Question Submitted By Erika

New York City

I filed a claim and they instructed me to claim credit for my unpaid work week. They said I could do it online, but the website that they referred me to (unemployment assistance on the website) stated I could not begin to receive payment until I had called the phone number I have already called and claimed credit. When I called again the same automated message told me to use the website. I have tried nonstop to get a human being on the phone and there don’t appear to be any. I’m getting so frustrated!

Hi Erika,

(Update: See comments below for a good strategy to get to a live person at the NYDOL Unemployment Division)

Sorry, I can empathize.

I never thought it was much fun to call any state. I was never impressed much by the “hold music” if they even bothered to have some.

When you get the automated message .. is there an option to speak with someone bi-lingual?

It seems to be working for a lot of people .. Seems they aren’t as busy as the English only lines and they seem more than willing to help .. even in English:)

Other than this, maybe some nice fellow New Yorker will leave a comment as to how they managed to get a hold of a “live person”.

Comments for How do you get a hold of a live person at the NYDOL unemployment division?



by: Anonymous

Anybody have a new method?

Can I receive unemployment benefit and still File I 130 for my family

by: Anonymous

I have been calling the labor department since last week all to no avail.
I applied for the unemployment insurance benefit. And after applying for that I remember that I had file for my family so I discontinued to claim benefit since August 2020 I had not receive anything.

Just last week September 24th I received $233.84 in my account of which I did not requested or apply for that.

I want to know if I am still qualify for that money and still be filing for my family. Please I need a direct contact phone number to talk to someone.
Thank you


by: Anonymous

that method doesn’t work anymore

It worked for me

by: Anonymous

Be patient, keep calling and hitting 9 until the call goes to the translation center. They found my claim problem and corrected it for me.

Got thru!

by: Anonymous

I called 18882098124 and I choose Spanish language, I got someone talking in English and transfer me to another person who resolve my problem.

Heathers hack really works!!!

by: Anonymous

I called 12 times and kept pressing 9 and it put me through to the operator. I was so happy I got my issue resolved. Thank you so much!!!!

NYCDOL phone line

by: Anonymous NYC

This technique worked 100% for me this evening. I strongly suggest it to people who have been trying to reach DOL. I have have trying since the middle of June and finally spoke with a person today. Thank you!!!!!!


by: Anonymous

Ok seriously read this thing below, whoever posted this MADE MY YEAR YOU ARE AMAZING THANK YOU SO MUCH

Amy’s method is the one!!!
by: Yolande

Ok so I tried Heather’s method but it didn’t work for me. So I tried Amy’s and with in 5 mins I was speaking with someone and within 20mins I was told I’m getting paid all my money within 3 business days!!!!!!! Amy girl I want to send you flowers! Her method is so much faster. I’ll repost it below

Follow this steps and hopefully, you will get in:

Call the unemployment number:

instead of hearing the options PRESS 9 RIGHT AWAY.
If they tell you that “we are sorry all our representatives are busy with another customer right now, please call again.”


If “thank you for calling the translation center of UI, please hold while we connect you to a translator.” comes up

It will tell you that you may hang up to hear the language options (main menu) but DO NOT HANG UP.

This is a shorter way of getting a representative because it will tell you whether or not a representative is available.

Again, keep trying. Literally called more than 100 times today trying with what heather said, the general way and finally by pressing the 9. ALSO, TRY TO CALL EARLY.

search for HEATHER post

by: Anonymous

Scroll down to the instructions posted by Heather-they work.

I talked to a person a currently on hold to talk to another person. I have called every day for 6 weeks and got the hang-up message about 500 times.

I am in shock right now.

Live person

by: Anonymous

Try sending an email

the press 9 hack totally works !!!!

by: Anonymous

I have been waiting for 11 weeks and been calling for about three until today that I found this page! It totally works, they solved and checked the status of my application. I will finally be able to get paid. Just call the 1 (888) 209-8124 number and press the number 9 right away until u get ahold of someone, do not hang up. Is not a long wait. It was after 5 pm also on Friday when I call.

Amy’s method is the one!!!

by: Yolande

Ok so I tried Heather’s method but it didn’t work for me. So I tried Amy’s and within 5 mins I was speaking with someone and within 20mins I was told I’m getting paid all my money within 3 business days!!!!!!! Amy girl I want to send you flowers! Her method is so much faster. I’ll repost it below

Follow these steps and hopefully, you will get in:

Call the unemployment number:

instead of hearing the options PRESS 9 RIGHT AWAY.
If they tell you that “we are sorry all our representatives are busy with another customer right now, please call again.”


If “thank you for calling the translation center of UI, please hold while we connect you to a translator.” comes up

It will tell you that you may hang up to hear the language options (main menu) but DO NOT HANG UP.

This is a shorter way of getting a representative because it will tell you whether or not a representative is available.

Again, keep trying. Literally called more than 100 times today trying with what heather said, the general way and finally by pressing the 9. ALSO, TRY TO CALL EARLY.

How did you get heathers method to work??

by: Yolande

I’ve tried heather method but can’t get further than entering my social and pin. It immediately said they’re all busy and it hangs up. There no option to press 2 then 2 again. What do I do. I applied in March and still got nothing. They made me reapply 3 weeks ago and said I was approve but nothing yet. And no communication of when.

6 months

by: Jen

I haven’t been able to get a hold of ANYONE in months. The 888-209-8124 doesn’t work anymore.
I haven’t received anything AT ALL. Not one dime. They even sent me something with my new address on it! I haven’t received ONE DIME!
I will not make it much longer. I won’t ask for a dime from friends and have no family. I hope they find out how awful this is for people who cannot live with nothing!
I have spent 47 hours and 38 minutes to keep hearing


by: Anonymous

Heather, you should charge commission! Got through on my first try using your methods :)

Just keep calling and press 9

by: Anonymous

Bless you, it worked and they’re looking into my claim finally after two months.

OMG thank you to AmY

by: Steph

I used the advice from Amy on July 10 and I finally got through to a person after months of non-payment. She resolved my issue and I should be receiving payment soon. Fingers-crossed but THANK YOU Amy!!!!!


by: Anonymous

I truly don’t know what to do anymore. It’s been 7 weeks. I’ve called using the line for the hard of hearing, I’ve called every department. I tried calling after 5, I’ve called when the clock first struck 8am and it was busy (somebody lying). WHAT DO I DO???!?!?

Finally got through

by: Anonymous

Thank you I used the change of address option and it worked thank you

It worked in about 30 minutes of trying

by: Anonymous

It took 45 tries using the “hit 9 right away” method – I was able to hit redial pretty fast and tried again right away. I got through within 30 minutes.

Even though it was an interpreter line, the person answered in perfect english and immediately asked for ssn and never mentioned anything about another language. THANKS SO MUCH! She solved our problem in 3 minutes and we have $5600 in back payments that will be credited in 2 days.

Nothing is working

by: Meli

None of these are working. It’s been almost 3 months now. I am still not getting through. I even tried the Spanish line. Getting ready to try the deaf line. This is ridiculous! With so many people unemployed…department of labor should be the last place so busy. Why not give us all jobs. It should not take you months to get through let alone hours. I just wish there were some other way. They say I need to call but no one is answering. I even messaged them online. Nothing.

Many thanks

by: Anonymous

Used Heathers advice and put in option 9. Only took me 3 tries and I got a person to answer. Worked well for me. Thank you so much for your post…


by: Anonymous

A huge thank you to everyone who suggested using the address change option. I reached a representative immediately. I am currently on hold with a next level claims specialist…but I will take the wait over nothing. THANK YOU!


by: Anonymous

Words of praise and gratitude for sharing the info!!!! thank you so so very much!!!!

Still nothing

by: Anonymous

Tried to get through using the Spanish line, still was disconnected due to high call volumes. UGH!

Another trick

by: amY

Heather’s trick did not helped me, BUT it did help a lot of people. you have to keep trying.

I found a shorter way to talk to a representative. I have been trying to talk to them for literally a month. I finally just did,

Follow this steps and hopefully, you will get in:

Call the unemployment number:

instead of hearing the options PRESS 9 RIGHT AWAY.
If they tell you that “we are sorry all our representatives are busy with another customer right now, please call again.”


If “thank you for calling the translation center of UI, please hold while we connect you to a translator.” comes up

It will tell you that you may hang up to hear the language options (main menu) but DO NOT HANG UP.

This is a shorter way of getting a representative because it will tell you whether or not a representative is available.

Again, keep trying. Literally called more than 100 times today trying with what heather said, the general way and finally by pressing the 9. ALSO, TRY TO CALL EARLY.

Hope this was helpful.

Another hack

by: Anonymous

I wasn’t able to get a live person using any of these hacks. What worked for me was to press that you want to change your phone number or address. I still haven’t resolved my issues but I did speak to 2 specialists and waiting now for the third. Isn’t that special?


by: Carlos

Thank you!!!! Very helpful.


by: Anonymous

Heather thank you! I have been trying to get through for weeks! This worked first time.

I called 882098124 and followed the steps in your message. I got straight through to a person!!

It’s always helpful to know another language

by: Anonymous

Heather you figured it out and were absolutely spot on, and the agent was very gracious. I started the conversation with a little Spanish and asked if they would mind to speak English – NO PROBLEMO! thank you Heather, you are brilliant.


by: Tyra

This saved my life! This works 100%.

Called June 27, 2020 and got through immediately

by: Anonymous

After almost two months of trying, I followed the prompts and immediately got a person from NY UI. THANK YOU.

Still does not work for me

by: Anonymous

These instructions didn’t work for me.

I was able to call in weeks ago and get a person, I created a account then, However this system doesn’t recognize my SS, so I put it in and create a new pin, It then says my SS is not on file and to call back the UI number (the same number I am talking too) and if I do that this process just repeats over and over. :(

Heather is a lifesaver!

by: Anonymous

Listen up people, I just tried this method and it works 100%! If you are having trouble this will end your misery. Thank you for posting this fix.


by: Anonymous

Got an agent in 10 seconds!!!

All Hail Heather!

by: Anonymous

I can’t believe it worked but it did! After hours of holding, being passed around, hung up on and ending up in the void that is the automated line, I actually got through to a live person in under 5 minutes. Thanks so much!

Thank you for info!!

by: Anonymous

I have been trying to get through but this info made it work to reach someone today!! Thank you.

what number?

by: Anonymous


Here are Heather’s instructions. Her post is below among all the other comments and you’re correct, I also didn’t notice an actual phone number. So, when forced to assume .. I’m going to assume she dialed the number handed out by the NYDOL on their website.

I have been trying to get through for 8 weeks. FINALLY this morning I got through to a person. They changed their options as of today. It still took me close to 60 calls to get someone but here are the options I used.
I pushed each option as soon as the recording started talking

1 for English

9 for main menu

2 for all other callers

Push 0 and then 0 again

Enter your SSN

1 for correct

Enter your pin

Then 2, 2 again and 1

Most of the time you will get a recording that starts with “Your information has been recorded”

If you get that hang up and immediately redial

IF YOU HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH, the recording will say “Your call may be monitored or recorded”

There may be a pretty long silence, but then the lovely music will begin. I wasn’t on hold for more than 10 mins. I hope this helps someone else because I know how frustrating it can be. Good luck!!!


by: Iva

OMG Heather! I don’t know how you figured it out, but your technique absolutely works. Don’t wait for voice prompts to finish. Press the numbers in the order she stated, including entering SSN and PIN. It took like 3 tries but I got through to a rep immediately. Unfortunately, I’m now waiting for Level 3 support which is like a 30-minute wait, but I’ve been calling unsuccessfully for WEEKS, so I’ll take it!

Great tip! Try it! Thank you.

@ Heather

by: Yolanda

I want to Thank Heather so much for her advice with hitting the numbers before the automated voice finishes speaking. I tried it three times and then I actually got through. Wow I was so happy and excited. The rep was able to help me fix my issue and hopefully now I can get my payments that I have been waiting for for over 7 weeks. Its a great thing when people put out information to help others and I will return the favor. Thank you so much Heather!

Paid for last week, what about before ?

by: Anonymous

I filed back in March and took a frustrating 8 weeks before the system jumped to life, asked me to fill a form, which took another 4 weeks to be approved i guess, and the first payment came in last week after i certified claim. However – the system just paid me for 1 week ???? what about the period since March, which i have certified in the form back in May as well ?? no one comes on the phone, no one replies to my emails, is this USA or a third world country ?? Even there one may manage to get someone , but this in unreal. How do i resolve these missing weeks of payments ?

Heather Comments Works after a few tries

by: Saskia

After trying for about 7 times around 10am I tried one more time using exactly what the username by the name of Heather said and I got through literally in less than 5 minutes. I guess you should try to call back to back.

Thank You Heather

A big headache!!

by: Anonymous

I have been unemployed for almost 3 months. I filed for UI on 04/16. I was able to get through on 04/16 to finish my claim with a representative. Since then I have only received one email 2 weeks ago saying that my claim was ready to be paid. I still have not received any benefits and I am not able to get through. This system sucks and I am sorry for everyone who is going through a similar situation.

Back payments

by: Anonymous

I received an email from DocuSign it was for my back payments I didn’t fully understand the form so I accidentally marked the wrong box o can’t fix it and I can’t get through to anyone

unrecognized SSN

by: nate

Hello, I am able to go through all the prompts at all the phone numbers, but when I enter my social security number and pin, the system tells me my social security number is not in the system and that I have no claims on file. The thing is, I have gotten numerous texts from NY Dept. of Labor saying that my claim is filed, valid, and all I have to do is go to the websites or call the various phone numbers to certify my claim. Yet when I do that, the system says that my social security # is not in the system! ANY suggestions??


by: Heather

I have been trying to get through for 8 weeks. FINALLY this morning I got through to a person. They changed their options as of today. It still took me close to 60 calls to get someone but here are the options I used.
I pushed each option as soon as the recording started talking

1 for English

9 for main menu

2 for all other callers

Push 0 and then 0 again

Enter your SSN

1 for correct

Enter your pin

Then 2, 2 again and 1

Most of the time you will get a recording that starts with “Your information has been recorded”

If you get that hang up and immediately redial

IF YOU HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH, the recording will say “Your call may be monitored or recorded”

There may be a pretty long silence, but then the lovely music will begin. I wasn’t on hold for more than 10 mins. I hope this helps someone else because I know how frustrating it can be. Good luck!!!

Finally but No Ciguar yet

by: Anonymous

After approximately 8 weeks I finally receive my first benefit payment Today but I still have issues
1st they took my waiting week which are to be waived, 2nd I haven’t received the back benefits that I had claimed I spoke with someone who went week by week for me to get the certifications for those past weeks and I was told that once I am approved I would be receiving payments for those past weeks. I still don’t see any updates on my account for that. At one point my effective days dropped down to 70 so I figured my payments would be added but it wasn’t and now I’m back up to 100 days

Haven’t received my unemployment benefits in over a month

by: Lela Love

This has been the worst experience of my life I think I have a better chance of getting Barack Obama on the phone then someone from the New York unemployment office. They claim they updated their phone system but I will have to disagree because I feel that is worse now than it was before I’ve trying email called at least 100 times over the course of one week and nothing Fed Up is an understatement every time I call the automated system hang up on me I feel totally helpless and defeated if anybody know someone personally works at the New York State unemployment office please help us

March 30

by: Anonymous

Like all of you I have filed the claim March 30th with a live representative then I got a letter through it’s tight saying I need to apply for the Pua foreign that they sent me because I am self-employed I uploaded it on the 18th of April still never heard anything my claim is been in pending status for a month-and-a-half.

I have tried everything I have emailed I have called I have pressed different numbers to try to get through I have received the one payment of $600 like all of you and then never received anything else I even got a handbook in the mail but never received nothing else I truly believe honestly is that New York state is broke for all the new people that Cuomo claims that he hired and for everyone to not receive payment and to deal with the same thing I think when Trump did the stimulus through the federal department for the bonus of $600 I think that everyone got the first week only because Cuomo retro activated in the system that there wouldn’t be a wait week so everything got screwed up but because there’s so many people applying I truly believe that the state of New York is broke so they’re putting all of us on hold because they don’t have a dime to pay us once they open up the economy and the state and start making money then we’ll start seeing all the back money that is owed to us it’s very sad but New York state was broke before the Coronavirus it’s really a screwed-up thing when we’re all starving and we all need money because logically speaking with all the people that Cuomo hired there is absolutely no way that thousands of millions of people are dealing with the same pending status they’re only paying people where their jobs have paid into unemployment other than that the money is coming out from the state which the stathe doesn’t have

Contacting the NYDOL

by: Chris –

I’m getting a lot of emails about how to get a NY unemployment claim out of pending status.

Clearly, the logical answer, is one has to be able to contact the NYDOL to straighten any problem out.

Given that it is also clear that is not an easy thing to do, I’m passing along the same advice some giving soul passed along to those in New Jersey for getting in touch with a live unemployment agent there, because when all else fails, snail mail makes perfect sense.

However, I am amending that advice somewhat and because I like nothing more than I like a paper trail to prove the truth as a fact.

Here’s the email I’m sending to those from New York contacting me.

You’re not alone in having your claim stuck in perpetual pending status.

And although I don’t have a surefire way to get it out of that status, I’m currently telling anyone who asks me how, to try another way to communicated with the state.

I would personally include in my efforts to contact the NYDOL Unemployment Department a physical request letter sent snail mail, via fax and email. And in case the state ever suggested I couldn’t prove I made a solid effort to contact them, I would request a delivery receipt for the snail mail, make sure to get a successful transmittal for the fax, as well a hard copy of the sent email, just in case any might be relevant to getting my long overdue claim, out of the limbo of pending status.


by: Anonymous

My unemployment ran out in March around the 4th I filed immediately it said I qualify for pua but my claim has been pending ever since I’ve called I’ve sent emails and nothing I’m so broke and they don’t seem to care at all

can get paid

by: Anonymous

I applied for unemployment benefits and I got my first week paid without the 600 dollars. after I called the tel service to claimed my weekly benefit I made a mistake because it ask me if I was willing to work any day during this week I press no and the answer should be yes. THE following week i claimed correctly but I haven’t get paid now for 5 weeks . I am calling the 888-209-8124, and it always telling me that I have a valid claim on file but I haven’t get paid.
please I need help I have so much debt to pay and I have to eat as well.

No way to communicate

by: Anonymous

I emailed a question since April 15 and still no response. 8 weeks claiming benefits, claim is valid and active and still no pay. I don’t know what to do anymore.


by: Anonymous


I could never reach them is impossible

by: Kenneth

7 weeks is nothing man I’ve been waiting since February and still pending for 4 month and nothing

Haven’t received unemployment insurance

by: Nick

It’s been 7-8 weeks I’ve been laid off I’ve filed every week and I’m still in pending status I need money for bills

This is nuts

by: Anonymous

So I’ve been out of work since 3/17/20 and filed on 3/18/20 as the business I work out was deemed essential. On the website my claim still says “pending” and the original number I called to speak with someone 888-209-8124 now won’t even direct you to a live person anymore. At least in the first few weeks you had a shot even if you had to wait on hold and sometimes get hung up on but now you have no remedy at all. I don’t know what else I can do and I really need my money. I did get one payment for $600 last week but no money after that and I’m not sure if that was the 600 that goes with unemployment Or a one time payment to help people out who didn’t get their claims processed yet but still need to eat and feed their families. Does anybody know what’s going on? Oh by the way I am a 1099 employee which I know changes things

Unable to use my card

by: Matthew

Unable able to use my card either on line or at any atms

I am not receiving my UI payments

by: Anonymous

I have been claiming my weekly benefits and certification as been accepted but I have not received any payments since 04/05/2020. I have been calling the phone lines and cannot get to speak to a live person.

I have been laid off due to Covid-19. I need to paid my rent and bills that’s backed up.

Hi Anonymous,

Here’s what I think is happening in multiple states. The process begins with a bottleneck.

And the process has been slowed down by the sheer number of new unemployment claims caused by a lack of work.

However, even under the best of circumstances (low .. low unemployment rates) the typical unemployment process for a lack of work (being laid off) claim can easily take from three to six weeks to process.

Before you finally get paid…

First you get the monetary determination (tells how much you can expect to receive if found otherwise eligible). You should also receive the claimant handbook as well, since it usually includes instructions about how and when to certify for benefits.

The state has also sent a notice of claim filed to the separating employer and if necessary, to other base period employers, for a response to your application for benefits.

The deadline for an employer to respond varies by state. The deadline is likely the reason why the time from applying to receiving benefits can take a while under the best of circumstances.

After the employer responds you were laid off for a lack of work, the claim/service rep (adjudicator) can then issue the non-monetary determination. Non-monetary determinations can address all sorts of issues at any time during a claim, but the first and hopefully last non-monetary eligibility determination you get .. will clear you for benefits so you can finally be paid for all the weeks you’ve already certified for while waiting on the state’s initial claim process to play out.

No Customer service

by: Anonymous

My husband has been trying to communicate via there mail says message sent successfully but you never get a response.

But it’s very odd that if they need you they clearly email you for response.

Very unfair and frustrating.

Governor Cuomo needs to address immediately otherwise let us go back to work!

I agree, the UI systems around the country are unfair and frustrating, but believe me, all state UI depts. have the same attitude when it comes to responding in a timely manner and the gathering of information that must be done for the laws to be made to work.. the states think their needs come first and usually with a deadline .. while millions try to contact them to apply, but have to wait to do even that.

Given I know what many states literally did to negate the affect of modernizing their eligibility rules to grab some stimulus money offered after the recession of 2008, it’s also apparent many have continued to ignore the obvious glaring systemic infrastructure problems that needed to be fixed back in 2009 and instead focus on becoming solvent and/or repaying interest free loans from the federal government.

Fine by me .. unless 12 years later the infrastructures are broken by a pandemic. I hope this time around it’s not just states that will finally start talking to each other to find workable ideas and solutions to bring the US unemployment system into the 21st because it is an antiquated mess that hasn’t been updated much since 1936.

Like Benjamin Franklin said, an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.

Still holds true today, no matter what the issue, or problem.


by: Anonymous

I have made over 200 attempts since this passed Monday and I can’t speak to a representative. I tried all the great tips on here but I guess they caught on because the options are different. I emailed them and still haven’t heard back. They on the other hand sent me an email asking me questions about the week and when I answered the questions I was told I couldn’t claim and that I need to wait till next week. It’s a joke. I even tried to get a Spanish speaking rep and got the same crap. In my opinion they should have reps available 24/7 during this trying time


by: Anonymous

I have been contacting nys unemployment since 3/18 to no avail. I need to complete my claim for the pandemic ui and or the regular ui. This system is ridiculous. This speaks volume. I even start at 750a and periodically. This is shameful and when
I message nys unemployment,
I still get no response. The online system for filing or claiming weekly is not helping. The system will not allow me to.

Live Person

by: Anonymous

I tried what was posted and I did finally get to the final menu where I pressed 3 and they proceeded to tell me that all agents were busy and to call back and then the phone hung up. I am beyond frustrated. I have been out of work for 9 weeks, they’re still looking into my unemployment claim even though I have filled out multiple questionnaires about my small part-time job that pays next to nothing. In the meantime I have no money coming in and I don’t start my new job until two weeks from today and by then I won’t get paid any money until my first pay check two weeks after that. Sorry, I just had to get this off my chest. This is beyond ridiculous.


by: Anonymous


I did it, I swear.

by: Anonymous

Be sure you are calling JUST THIS NUMBER (888) 469-7365

The other number that pops up when you google is JUST teleservice. If you hear the words “teleservice,” you called a useless number no human being will ever answer.

Once you call (888) 469-7365
press 1 for English
9 for main menu
Listening to them tell you a million times to go to the website even though you’re calling cause you need a human.

Press 9 for main menu. AGAIN.

Listen to quality assurance disclaimer.
Press 5.

Wait to listen through another million redirections and other disclaimers.

Enter SSN
Enter Pin you previously set up.

Listen to it tell you have a valid claim on file as though you don’t know and that’s why you’re calling.

Listen to ANOTHER menu trying to further specify why you are calling.

Press 5 for all other questions.

Listen to ANOTHER menu trying to further specify why you are calling.

YOU HAVE TO PRESS 1, 2, or 3.

Press 3 for status of your claim.

Voice will say “please hold.”

It will tell you to press 1 for a callback.

Or you can press 2, then 3 to remain on the line.

CONGRATULATIONS! You have run the gauntlet and now have the honor of waiting in the cue for an actual person.

Speaking to a live agent

by: Anonymous

If you would like to speak to a live agent please read comment up above from Bella. I went through the steps she stated and was finally able to speak to a live agent. Although she was rude she did answer my questions. I filed 2 weeks ago they only sent my card with the first payment yesterday. Unemployment is a joke. Oh by the way you don’t get paid for your first week out of work
Again, a JOKE

Option 6 works

by: Anonymous

Yep the change of address option works, cue the terribly lovely on hold music with pre recorded reminders that all agents are busy every other second.

Thank you BSL

by: Anonymous

I’ve been trying to get a hold of them for the longest . i wish i would have saw this post sooner, thank you so much !


by: BSL

After much trial-and-error, and also reading this message board, HERE IS THE REAL WAY TO SPEAK TO A REAL PERSON AT THE UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE!!! I HOPE IT HELPS YOU LIKE IT HAS HELPED ME!!!

1 for English
9 for Main Menu
5 for Representative
Enter 9 digit SSN
Enter 4 digit Pin #
Press 5 for more Options
Press 2 for More Questions
Press 3 To Ask A Question
Press 2 for more Options
Press 3 to Stay on Hold for A Rep
FINALLY YOU’LL BE CONNECTED TO A REP (after a 5-10 minute wait)!

Thanks to all!

by: Thomas

I just wanted to thank those that took the time to post their answers and guidance to help make the lives of others (like myself) a bit easier. Thanks!

Response to the latest comment on this old post

by: Chris –

Might you actually work for the NYDOL Anonymous? I suspected that, given you sadly mentioned how people can avoid being scammed by not googling a keyword phrase people often search with to avoid being scammed in NY.

However, as I read that information on an official NYDOL page, my first thought was maybe the NY UI system has some security issue it needs to fix along with the possibility of fixing either an overburdened phone system that hangs up on someone after hours on hold or maybe the department itself, is just understaffed?

Thanks for those tips though. If anyone finds them helpful to get a hold of a live person at the NYDOL, I’m sure they’ll let everyone know how well they worked.

I know your post is old, but in case you never got to a person

by: Anonymous

If you filed a UI claim (on the phone, online) and did not certify for your unpaid waiting week on time (the Wednesday in the calendar week after you started your claim), you cannot get to a human at unemployment over the phone. Not possible.

You can sign in to your NY.GOV ID and use the messaging system to send an email OR you can visit your closest NYSDOL career center and request that staff connect you with UI customer service over the phone (this can only be done in-office.)

In either case, you will have to have UI terminate your claim, then you’ll need to refile. Then you’ll need to request that they backdate your claim to the original date you start.

The PIN is a different issue; if you’re trying to file and you’ve never filed before, you get to make up your PIN right then and there (but the recording’s language is the same. It’s confusing, I know). Alternatively, you can try to reset it (in case you had a claim 100 years ago but forgot it). To do that, call 1-888-209-8124. 1 for English. 9 for the main menu. 6 for pin and address changes.

Keep in mind that the call center is only staffed Monday-Friday, 8-5. Later in the day, later in the week usually is a short wait time. Or start dialing at 7:55 to beat the lines.

ALWAYS go through DO NOT Google NYS Unemployment. UI has no way to protect you from scams, sadly.

Alternate # for NYDOL

by: Chris –

Yes, I agree, there was a lot to listen to, before getting to the main menu, where pressing 5, is specifically, to speak with a service representative at the NYDOL.


Option 5 on the main menu.

Alternate Number for NYDOL

by: Anonymous

Turns out there’s another phone number buried in some of the Unemployment guides. Still a ton of talking, but here’s the number with the option:

Option 5

When All Else Fails

by: Anonymous

When all else fails call or write to your State Senator or Assemblyman they will help you!

To the person without a pin number

by: Chris –

I really do understand your frustration, however, if you don’t have a pin, you may be able to find answers to questions without a pin at the NYDOL’s UI Electronic interpretation service of issues connected to an unemployment claim.


doesn’t work that way …

by: Anonymous

I was calling first time to have questions answered, so naturally don’t have a pin. It simply hung up when I couldn’t give it one.

How does that help anyone, when this is the number they give to talk to someone if you need a question answered in person. The whole system is wrong if you are new to it and need an answer. They should have a word or a number to reach LIVE PEOPLE . you can’t always have a automated number in order to serve people we pay enough to have a few live people to answer lines in this state.


by: Bella

I figured out the easiest way to talk to a live person at NYS Unemployment and it only took me an hour and a half so hope this helps.

1. Call 1(888)209-8124
2. Hit 1 for English 2 for Spanish
3. Listen to alllllllll that talking
4. Hit 9 for main menu
5. Listen to more talking
6. Hit 9 for main menu again
7. Hit 5 to speak to Representative
8. Enter in your social security number
9. Enter in your pin number
10. Hit 3 for more info on your claim
11. Congrats you did it you can either stay on hold or enter in your phone number for a call back

If anyone has a secret phone number for New York Unemployment

by: Chris –

Please feel free to post a phone number to a live person at the NY UI dept. here, or email it to me and I’ll update this Q&A with it myself.

Someone in NJ was kind enough to post a phone number that worked for them, and most of the comments that came later, are still saying it works great including the fact they get to talk to people who are caring and patient to help them resolve UI problems.

Sometimes that’s precisely what we need, a human being at the unemployment department who knows their job entails resolving issues other than those employers complain about. At the very least, what’s wrong with an explanation that may help a person understand why there benefits were stopped and what they need to do to change that.

I wish I had a miracle phone number to give you but I don’t at least not yet.

But, I’ll still take a guess at why I think your benefits were paid in January, but suddenly stopped in February.
It could be the UI dept. received some additional information from the employer finally, that raised an eligibility issue.
And the department may have opted to suspend your benefits while they take their sweet time to investigate and resolve the eligibility issue, or they may have, but are dragging their feet to issue a redetermination of benefits as timely as humanly possible since you indicated you’ve received nothing from the state to explain this anomaly.

Problem with not having any claim determination, or any subsequent redeterminations which generally deny benefits going forward (something I know NY has done in the past .. after they start paying benefits).. is without that letter, you have nothing you can appeal, to start the process of changing a determination .. with a tribunal hearing .. and the ALJ decision.

In the meantime, I googled “how to file a complaint against the NY Unemployment Dept.

How Do I Speak To A Live Rep In New York About Not Receiving My UI Benefits?


IVE BEEN CALLING NUMBER AFTER NUMBER AND ONLY A COMPUTER PICKS UP!! I JUST STARTED RECEIVING MY UI BENEFITS AS OF JAN 2018. I GET PAID THE MONTH OF JANUARY AND ON FEB THEY STOP SENDING ME MY PAYMENTS!! GOING ON 2 WEEKS NOW. I TRY CALLING 50 MILLION NUMBERS AND ALL OF THEM ARE COMPUTERS!! I just don’t get it! Why stop my payments with no letters sent to me, or anything? It says I have a valid claim on file, but I still have not received any payments. This is so frustrating!


Horrible system!!

by: Anonymous

It is so frustrating trying to get in touch with an alive operator! It’s insane the amount of time we have to spend on the phone pressing option after option and getting no where!,

Update: Options Have Changed

by: Mmmbob

It’s now option 6 from the main menu, not 5, to change your address/pin/etc. This will finally get you into a call queue with a real human!

Jan 18, 2018 Live person

by: chris

Call 1-800-833-3000 select option #3

similar issues

by: Elena

Not only is is a major challenge to get to speak to someone (phone tree takes you through so many options before you get to one that allows you to talk to a person), but I have instructions to send documents via their online email system. The problem with that is there is no option or method in which to attach or upload anything. Also, their system crashes regularly, yet we are held accountable to super short turnaround times whether we can speak to someone about our questions or not.

Can log in but can’t claim weekly benefits online

by: Anonymous

For the past two weeks I’ve been calling 2-5 times per day in the early morning, late morning, early afternoon, and late afternoon, but constantly receive the message “we are experiencing a heavier than normal call volume, please call again later” message only to then have it disconnect. I have been using the method mentioned where I select the options to change my name or address. The issue is that I can login to my account on the website, but when I select “claim weekly benefits”, it asks for my social security number. I enter it, but it then merely states I’m “already on file” and gives no further options. My claim was already started, approved, and I received my details in the mail. I’m past the waiting week, but it won’t let me claim weekly benefits online as they so strongly suggest. This happens on every computer and using different browsers. It seems like I just need a live person to help fix the problem on the back end. I know claiming weekly benefits can be done over the phone, but I’d like to do what they suggest and just do it online. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

I don’t have a miracle phone number for you (like there is for NJ in another thread about contacting it’s unemployment department) but I can tell you if this were happening to me, and remember, I know that not claiming timely each week while waiting for benefits to be approved, generally means one can’t collect later for that week .. because there isn’t a continuing claim filled out and submitted ready to be paid when the determination is issued, I’d at least try claiming by phone, regardless of the state’s “strong suggestion”, or not. And at minimum, I’d also be hunting for an email address going to someone at the NYDOL who I could detail in writing the issues I am having with filing a continuing claim as instructed, so later on, if the NYDOL denies there was a problem with their “system”, I wouldn’t be devoid of any evidence I was making a strong effort to file.

I’m certain you can’t be the only unemployed person having the same experience, but I’m also certain when you do nothing extra, to prove you at least made reasonable efforts to fix the problem for yourself .. the UI dept. likely will come down on their own side when they determine they don’t give a hoot if you just “say”, you were had this problem.

Sorry .. I’m jaded about some UI departments in this country, but on the other hand, that’s what makes me fall on the cautious side to document pretty much anything, I think I might have to prove as a fact later on.

Chris –


by: Laura

All I need is a piece of paper from unemployment stating how much I received a week from unemployment and dates covered and ended through out the year. This is being asked by no fault INS. I am a school bus driver and receive benefits during year when there is a lack of work. Unfortunately I was in a car accident 12-9-16, 8 months ago. Just need this info please if someone direct can call me or text me, major problems with passwords and username. Please and ty


by: Anonymous

This is the NYS Unemployment line.
Don’t you think if NYS paid people
to answer the phone at a call center that’s
less people need unemployment.
I don’t get it.

Choose to change address – IT WORKS

by: Anonymous

After trying unsuccessfully for 4 days to speak with someone. This is what I did and it works to get to speak with a person:
1. dial 1-888-209-8124
2. after selecting English, choose #9 from menu
3. wait through all the pre-recordings, then choose #5 from the menu, enter your info
4. then choose #1 (address change)

This works

by: Anonymous

Great suggestion. Confirmed that when you enter the IVR selection to ‘Change PIN or Address” you will be placed in a queue and speak to a representative. Spoke to two different reps that handled my issue satisfactorily. The reps were professional and polite.

I got through in 15 minutes

by: Anonymous

I did the change my name, address and pin option. Pretended to change my address and then proceeded to ask my questions. The rep patiently answered all of my questions! She also mentioned that Monday’s and Friday’s are typically the busiest so the best time to get a rep would be tues-Thursday mornings. Good luck!

Tell them you want to pay

by: Chris –

Verrrrry Interesting.

Be sure to let everyone know if choosing the “I want to pay benefits back” option leads to someone willing to help you with what you’re really after.

Tell them you want to pay!

by: Anonymous

When I go through automated system, and stick to their Questions. They tell me they are to busy. Call back another time. This time I selected that I want to setup a payment plan… Now their keeping me on hold.No disconnect so far…10 mins so far…

Found out how to get a live person

by: Anonymous

I finally got somebody you have to go through everything and then when it says do you want to change your name or address press that option and you will get somebody just wait that was the best thing anybody ever told me to do go to the change your name option and just wait

I have figured it out !!

by: Anonymous

When you call and hear the option to change your name or address it will put you on hold for a rep!! Or they even call you when it’s your turn in line!! Hope this helps!!

To .. Complaint

by: Chris –

I agree. It’s not only ridiculous, but inexcusable .. regardless there always seem to be an excuse of some antiquated phone system a state didn’t have replaced with part of the stimulus funds a state may have received.

But if your question is general and something I can answer quickly.. I myself would be happy to demonstrate how easy it is to perform much better than pretty much any state unemployment department’s antiquated phone system .. with a simple human-typed email.


by: Anonymous

More than 1 month I was trying to talk to someone, but I couldn’t get anyone, after 45 minutes holding on the phone, it just hung up on me.

This is ridiculous.

New York Unemployment Needs New Phone System

by: sad

Trying to get hold of new York state unemployment live person is like trying to speak to our congressman.

This needs to be updated.

It’s very rude to go through prompt for half hour and be disconnected. This is not how people like us who work hard and earn a honest living should be treated. Anna New York State


  1. I have applied for unemployment months ago and calling to find out the status of my claim, after all my options I get sent straight to voice mail, it there something wrong with the answering service

    • Alex,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

  2. I am filing unemployment first time after working 30+ years. I have been trying one week to file unemployment claim but no avail. I use my account with NY GOV Id. While starting a claim, it said that I already provided NY labor Dept information and it stopped there. I call unemployment phone line 888-209-8124. They asked me to provide documents at various times. First I did not have document upload subject to upload document in my inbox. Then I faxed in documents multiple times. All told was faxed documents too blurry not readable. I was also told major case unit need those documents to investigate my id. All I know that I am no where near submitting an unemployment claim. At this time, there is no time table and no one seems to care responding my call to 888-209-8124.
    Please someone reach out to me and contact me through email if there is a solution. If not, I am afraid waiting forever for major case unit to move the investigation because I did not have good documents to send to MCU unit. I just need to file my unemployment claim a very easy process if ID issue is resolved.

  3. Hello! i have been trying to call Unemployment for the past 4 days and can not get through. I also can not file online dude to it prompting me to the 1099G page only when i click the file form after enter my social. I do not know what to do to get though or file. Ive left message on the email but one one is getting back to me. Please help!

  4. Hello i am from nyc and have been working 2 jobs both part time 20hrs each, and 1of my jobs is going out of business they said i should call for unemployment however i do not know if i qualify because i can’t get anyone on the phone

    • I have a similar issue. I worked 2 part time jobs of which both have closed due to coronavirus. I can’t get anyone on the phone or web to help me.

    • Mary,

      You need a summary of payment which is available in 1099-G. Please visit the official website or call the Unemployment Office to know how to get one.

  5. jan 1,17. Applied for unemployment. Rep from unemployment called to verify some info. As of today 2/20/17 have not received any money. Tried calling unemployment office to speak with rep, waste of time, no help.

  6. I have two infants and the dedicated babysitter just suffered a heart attack. She will need a few weeks to recover and i have no one to watch the kids untill then. Daycare costs more than i make. If i leave my job temporarily will i qualify for any assistance.

    • Hello my name is Tiffany I want to let you know I just lost my job today and I was looking to collect unemployment because I have two children that I need to take care of a nine-year-old daughter and a ten-year-old son I lost my youngest and a house fire but I would like you to know I am great with children wonderful mother and if you’re looking for a babysitter please I would be very interested I love kids and homework arts and crafts and all that will be done as well just like I would do it my own I was just applying for babysitting jobs right to work at the college in Sullivan County please I would appreciate it if you could get back to me as soon as possible if you need my help I will be thank you so much I look forward to meeting you if is possible………..Tiff!!!!!! I would give you my phone number over email once we talk sorry this is the web!!!!!!

    • Alex,

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered.

  7. I had previously filed online for unemployment benefits in 2015, I need to file for benefits starting this week and I can not remember my password and the email that I used to set my account up I no longer have access to. Is there a number that I can reach to get my password reset to file benefits. There is not a local unemployment office in my area and only a careerworks and they stated they were not able to help. I tried to file over the phone and I get put on hold and then the call gets disconnected. Is there any recommendations or contacts out there to help me get my claim filed?

  8. The system has not allowed me to file.. I have been trying for 4 last day of work was 8/11/2106.. I have all kinds of e-mails trying to sign me up for Obamacare and Credit Reports but no reply for an ID-Temp P/W.. I have Login IDs as follows: DKAT 25, DKAT1970, DIMKAT70. I have not been able to get a PW on any of these even though I have been filing or should I say Attempting to File a claim for 3 weeks.. HELP. Phone #’s put me on Hold…For 1/2 hour and then I get disconnected… It’s Frustrating.. PLEASE can someone contact me.PLEASE.. thank You…

    • I can understand your frustration. This is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim.

      Please see if you can visit the nearest Unemployment Office in your area.

    • Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information. We’re not a govt. agency.

    • Please contact the claims center of the labor dept in your state for status.

      (888) 209-8124 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

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