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New Payments for eligible unemployed adults

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 (UI) payments. People approved for UI may be eligible for temporarily larger payments during the pandemic.

Update: You can continue to receive up to an additional 25 weeks of benefits through September 6, 2021 if you have already been receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), or Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).

  • Unemployment Insurance (UI): If you worked in New York State within the last 18 months, you can file a claim for UI. You can claim your benefits weekly for up to 25 weeks while you are unemployed.
    • A typical range of weekly UI benefits, depending on past wages, is about $100-$500 per week
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – If you reach “0” effective days or exhausted your benefits, you can receive an additional 53 weeks payments by certifying every week through September 6 , 2021.
    • Extended Benefits (EB) – You can receive these benefits after exhausting your normal UI and PEUC benefits.
    • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) – You can receive an extra $100 per week if you made more than $5,000 of self-employment or independent contractor income (1099 income) in addition to wage income (W2)
      • Money you receive from MEUC counts toward your income to determine your eligibility for Medicaid
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): Provides weekly payments for people who are ineligible for regular UI. This includes part-time workers, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and those without a recent work history.
    • PUA is extended through September 6, 2021. The number of eligibility weeks is extended to 79 weeks.
    • Payment is based on recent earnings.
    • The usual one-week waiting period for benefits is waived.
    • If you file your first PUA claim after December 27, 2020, you can get retroactive payments for weeks beginning on or after December 6, 2020.
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) – You will get an additional $300 per week on top of your normal UI or PUA payments. This program has been extended to September 6, 2021. (This benefit was once worth $600 per week but has offered $300 per week since late December 2020.)
  • You can continue certifying for benefits after your Benefit Year Ending (BYE) date if you have not returned to work or you receive PUA. However, you will need to file a new claim for benefits if:
    • Your BYE date is on March 7, 2021 or later and
    • You receive UI and were paid wages during your benefit year that add up to more than 10 times your weekly benefit.
    • The Department of Labor has a FAQ on Benefit Year Ending in English and Spanish.
  • Although all unemployment benefits are taxable and considered income for Federal tax returns,
    • you do not need to pay federal taxes on the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits if you earned less than $150,000 as an individual in 2020.
    • you will still have to pay state and city taxes on your benefits because New York State and City measures income separately from the federal government.

2. Determine your eligibility

You may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI), if you:

  • lost your job through no fault of your own (for example, you got laid off)
  • worked within the last 18 months and are you ready, willing, and able to work immediately
  • are actively seeking work and keep a record (online or written) of your efforts
  • you have enough income from your most recent work to establish a claim
  • are authorized to work in the US and were authorized to work when you lost your job

You may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) if you:

  • Are self-employed, work part-time, or are a freelance worker, gig worker, or worker with limited work history
  • Do not qualify for regular UI benefits and cannot work because you:
    • are diagnosed COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking diagnosis
    • have a member of the household who is diagnosed with COVID-19
    • are providing care for a family or household member diagnosed with COVID-19
    • are the primary caregiver for a child whose school or care facility closed due to COVID-19
    • can’t reach your workplace due to an imposed quarantine, or because you have been advised by medical provider to self-quarantine, due to COVID-19
    • were scheduled to start new work and do not have a job or cannot reach the workplace as a direct result of COVID-19
    • became the main earner because the head of household died from COVID-19
    • had to quit your job as a direct result of COVID-19
    • had your workplace close as a direct result of COVID-19
    • were laid off or had your work hours reduced as a direct result of COVID-19
    • were receiving unemployment benefits but had your claim denied because you refused to work at a worksite not in compliance with COVID-19 health standards
    • school employees working without a contract who face reduced paychecks and no assurance of continued pay when schools are closed due to COVID-19; or
    • meet any additional criteria specified by US Secretary of Labor

You are not eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) if you:

  • Can telework or are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits (regardless of meeting a category listed above)
  • Are being paid to work remotely
  • Are not authorized to work in the US
  • Are working on a visa, including an H-1B, and your visa is expired.

To see if you are eligible, see the COVID-19 Scenarios sheet.

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

These are documents you need to apply:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver license or Motor Vehicle ID card number (if you have either one)
  • Your complete mailing address and zip code
  • A phone number where DOL can reach you from 8am–5pm, Monday–Friday
  • Your Alien Registration card number (if you are not a US 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, listed on your W-2 forms (don’t worry if you don’t have this)

Next section:

4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

The easiest way to apply for unemployment benefits is online.

If you receive UI (not PUA), you will have to file a new claim if:

  • Your Benefit Year Ending (BYE) date has passed on March 7, 2021 or later and
  • During your Benefit Year, you were paid wages that add up to more than 10 times your weekly benefit.
    • To find out your UI claim’s end date (BYE date), log in to NYS DOL website and click on “View Payment History” under “Unemployment Services”

To apply online:

  • Log in to using your account.
    • If you do not have a account, you will be able to create one by clicking the “Don’t have an account?” button.
    • For help with issues related to your account, such as difficulty logging in, changing your personal information or resetting your password, please call 800-833-3000.
  • After logging in, click “File a Claim” and follow the instructions.
  • After completing your application, you will need to continue certifying for benefits every week at
    • Sign in and click the “Unemployment Services” button.
    • Then click the “Certify to Claim Your Weekly Benefits Here” button. Follow all instructions on the next screen.
  • The Department of Labor will review your claim for UI benefits and decide if you qualify.
  • Here is a step-by-step process with pictures to file a claim online.

Apply 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.

Immigrants can make an appointment with ActionNYC to receive assistance.

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

If you have to call the telephone claims center regarding your claim, call 888-209-8124 during the hours of operation:

  • Monday through Friday, 8 am to 7:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm

If you need interpretation services, call Telephone Claims Center at 888-209-8124 and select your language.

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.

Last Updated Friday, April 30th, 8:43am

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