Coronavirus: Here’s how to file for unemployment in New York

With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, many people have found themselves without a job or enough income to pay for their needs. If you live in the state of New York and have been are unable to work due to the Coronavirus or COVID-19, you can apply for temporary unemployment benefits. In this post, we are going to walk you through how to file for Unemployment benefits in New York due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

We will explain the requirement for this emergency unemployment benefit and how you can apply remotely – online or by phone.

Furthermore, we will list the documents or evidence you will be required to provide in order to successfully file your emergency unemployment benefits application.

"How to file for Unemployment in New York due to Coronavirus"

This post on Unemployment Benefits in New York due to Coronavirus will cover:

  • Emergency Unemployment Benefits due to Coronavirus
  • Documents you need to apply for Unemployment in New York
  • How to Apply for New York Unemployment Benefits due to Corona Virus
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Unemployment Benefits Program in New York

The unemployment benefits program in the state of New York is managed by the New York Department of Labor (DOL).

The unemployment benefits program in New York is called “Unemployment Insurance”.

By law, the unemployment insurance program provides benefits to people who:

  • Have enough employment to establish a claim
  • Have lost employment through no fault of their own
  • Are ready, willing and able to work and
  • Are actively seeking work

Am I eligible for Unemployment Benefits in New York?

If you have a history of wages in the state of New York, you are actively able and available to seek and accept new employment, and you are currently unemployed or work reduced hours through no fault of your own, you may be eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance in New York.

However, individuals whose employment has been impacted, but are still receiving wages through paid leave are not eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance.

When filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim in New York, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name.

For Last names starting with A – F, file on Monday. Last names starting with G – N, file on Tuesday. Last names starting with O – Z, file on Wednesday.

If you missed your filing day, file on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim; all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.

The documentation you need to apply for Unemployment in New York

According to the New York Department of Labor, you must have the following information before you can file:

    • Your Social Security number
    • Driver license or Motor Vehicle ID card number (if you have either one)
    • Your complete mailing address and zip code
    • A phone number where we can reach you from 8 am – 5 pm, Monday –Friday
    • Your Alien Registration card number (if you are not a U.S. Citizen and have a card)
    • Names and addresses of all your employers for the last 18 months, including those in other states
    • Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your most recent employer (FEIN is on your W-2 forms)
    • Copies of forms SF8 and SF50, if you were a federal employee
    • Your most recent separation form (DD 214), for military service

You can file a claim without all of these documents.

However, missing information can delay your first payment.

If you choose direct deposit of your weekly benefits, you need a check that has your bank routing and checking account numbers.;

Claims filed without correctly reporting employers may experience delays. It is important to list the correct employment information when filing your claim. If you fail to do so, your benefits may be delayed while the missing employment information is obtained.

Furthermore, The United States Department of Labor says anyone who meets the following criteria that have resulted from the Coronavirus pandemic is eligible:

Additional Unemployment Benefits Eligibility due to Coronavirus

In addition to the eligibility requirements above, you are also eligible for unemployment benefits if you have been unable to work or your work has been severely reduced due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the additional guidelines from the United States Department of Labor listing the circumstances that apply.

      • An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work.
      • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
      • An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.

How to File Unemployment in New York

There are two ways you can file for unemployment benefits during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Option 1 – Online

Unemployment benefits claims are handled online. You can file your claim by visiting Go to www.labor.ny.gov/signin.

Once there, sign in if you already have an account or click the “Create NY.gov Account” to create an account to begin the application process (see image below).

"Steps to File Unemployment in New York"

Option 2 – Via Phone

The other option for applying for Unemployment Insurance in New York is to call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-(888) 209-8124

They are open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Interpreters are available for most languages. When you call, press nine for an interpreter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the frequently asked questions about New York Unemployment Benefits, including questions related to unemployment benefits due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Is there a waiting period for Unemployment benefits?

New York State is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.

When should I file for benefits?

If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name.

If your last name starts with A – F, file your claim on Monday. For last names starting with G – N, file your claim on Tuesday.

For last names starting with O – Z, file your claim on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Filing later in the week will not delay your payment

What’s the Number to Call for New York Unemployment Office?

To speak to a representative at the Department of Labor how to file a claim for unemployment benefits, call the Telephone Claim Center, toll-free at 1-888-209-8124.

Normal hours of operations are 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday.

The Department of Labor is extending the telephone filing hours due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The extended hours are as follows:

Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 7:30 pm.
Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Saturday, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm.

What employment do I need to qualify for benefits?

To be eligible for unemployment benefits in the state of New York, you must have worked and been paid wages for work in at least two calendar quarters in your base period.

In addition, for claims filed in 2019, you must have been paid at least $2,400 in wages in one of the calendar quarters (this amount increases to $2,600 for claims filed in 2020) in your base period.

Furthermore, the total wages paid to you in your base period must be one and one-half times your high quarter wages.

The Department of Labor uses no more than $11,088 of your high quarter earnings to determine if you qualify. You must have earned at least half that amount ($5,544) in the other base period quarters.

If I live in New York State but worked in another state, where do I apply for benefits?

If you live in New York State, but all your work in the past 18 months was in another state, file your claim with the state where you worked.

However, if you worked in 2 or more states in the past 18 months, you must file your claim with one of the states where you worked, no matter where you live.

For more FAQs, click here.

How to File for Unemployment in New York Summary

We hope this post on How to File for Unemployment in New York was helpful.

If you have further questions about Unemployment Benefits in New York, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles on Government benefits.