New York Unemployment Insurance

NY Department of Labor

When you are in need of Unemployment Insurance (UI) it is very important you apply immediately whether you are unsure if you qualify or not. It takes about 2-3 weeks to receive any benefits after the initial claim, and you won’t be paid during this time. It’s real easy to do, the NYS Department of Labor has a How-to on their website.

You will need:

  • your social security #
  • valid drivers license
  • mailing address and a contact phone #
  • federal employer identification number (from your W-2)
  • contact information for all your employers in the last 18 months
  • alien registration card (non-us citizenens)

It’s recommended to do the Direct Deposit method so you receive your payments Once approved, you will have to attend an orientation which is 1-2hrs. and in a group setting. You’re basically all done with the filing process. What’s next is to claim online at the benefits weekly claim page or over the phone 1-888-581-5812  each week for your benefits (W,Th, & Fri’s have less wait times), as well as filling out your job search form proving that you are job searching in Buffalo or anywhere else. It is required you apply for at least 2 jobs/week while claiming NYS unemployment insurance.

Also, whenever you are at the One-Stop centers, Department of Labor job center, or the Buffalo Employment & Training Center make sure to sign-in because it counts towards your job search. You can even claim your weekly benefits while outside the state looking for work by calling 1-888-864-9920 or by using the website.

The max payment that can be received is $405/wk, and it is determined by how much you made at certain points of the year. If you do not agree with your weekly benefits amount, you can file a petition to have it re-examined.  Furthermore, regular unemployment lasts for 26 weeks, but because of the recession of ’08 there are many extended benefits that can make your unemployment benefits last a lot longer. The extended benefits breakdown chart gives great detail on your eligibility based on when your initially claimed.

If you need some more information, check out the DOL’s Frequently Asked Question page or the  Unemployment Insurance website.

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