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Unemployment for Workers

NYS Unemployment Insurance | NYS Department of Labor

1. How it Works

If you lost your job and it was not your fault, you might be able to get unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance will give you some money, based on what you earned. To get insurance, you must be looking for a new job.

  • If you worked in New York State within the last 18 months, you have the right to file a claim for benefits
  • You can claim your benefits weekly for up to 26 weeks while you are unemployed
  • Requires a valid Social Security Number and government-issued ID card
  • It takes three to six weeks from the time you file your claim to receive your first payment
  • Apply online or by phone

2. Determine your eligibility

You may be eligible if you can answer yes to these questions.

  • Did you lose your job through no fault of your own (for example: you got laid off)?
  • Did you work within the last 18 months?
  • Are you ready, willing, and able to work immediately?
  • Are you actively seeking work and keep a record (online or written) of your efforts?
  • Do you have enough income from your most recent work to establish a claim?

Take a short survey to see if you might be eligible for this or 30 other programs.

Am I Eligible?

3. What you need to include

To file for unemployment benefits, you will need to provide proof of the following:

  • Citizenship or immigration status: such as a work authorization card.
  • Your identity and date of birth: such as a driver’s license or non-driver’s license ID.
  • Your income (if any): such as your recent income tax, current pay stubs, or award letters.

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4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

  1. Create an account on
  2. Login with your new ID.
  3. Follow the instructions to file a claim.
  4. Submit your application.
  5. The Department of Labor will review your claim for UI benefits and decide if you qualify.
  6. You can only file online during the following times:
    • Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m – 7:30 p.m
    • Friday: 7:30 a.m – 5:00 p.m.
    • Weekends: Saturday 12:00 a.m – Sunday 7:00 p.m.

File online

Apply by phone

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More ways to get help with this program

Visit the website

Visit the NYS Unemployment Insurance website for more information

Email the NYS Department of Labor

Email NYS unemployment to get more information

Call 311

Ask for New York State Unemployment Insurance assistance.

Call NYS Unemployment

Call 888-469-7365 if you have questions about unemployment benefits.

If you are hearing impaired, have your helper call the Telephone Claims Center at 888-783-1370.

For TTY/TDD, call a relay operator first at 800-662-1220, and ask the operator to call the Telephone Claims Center at 888-783-1370 for you.