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January 31st

Your Complete Guide to New York Unemployment Eligibility, Compensation and Benefits

Your Complete Guide to New York Unemployment Eligibility, Compensation and Benefits

Nobody wants to lose their job, but unfortunately, jobs are lost every single day throughout New York state. Taking time to understand the NYS unemployment system and how it works is the best way to reduce the risk of losing money by becoming unemployed yourself.

Unemployment in NYC and throughout the state is a real issue that people face each week. Below we take a look at the New York unemployment process and what you can do with help from the NYC department of labor or your local office to get compensation after losing your job.

There is NY unemployment insurance available through most workplaces by law. That means if you lose your job and need help from NY state unemployment insurance, you should be able to get the help you need with a short application process.

The New York state unemployment application process is a simple one, but you’ll need a set of documents and information to get through it. We cover how to file for unemployment and what you can do to improve your chances of getting benefits for unemployment in NY below.

While filing for New York unemployment used to be a time-consuming process, it’s faster and easier than ever to work with the Department of Labor in Brooklyn and other areas today. That’s because of technological improvements.

Find out more about the NYC unemployment program and the statewide program below. We explain how NYS unemployment insurance works, look at the NYS unemployment rate and talk about NYC unemployment tools that are available for managing your benefits today.

What Unemployment Benefits are For

Unemployment benefits or unemployment insurance is a special program that’s operated all throughout the state to help pay for the living costs of the unemployed. The program is built to serve as a safety net for individuals while they work to find a new job.

The program is only one of many of the options available for the unemployed to help with their living costs. You could also consider using Welfare and the SNAP program to help cover some of your costs. It’s also possible to work with your mortgage company and other financiers to get help through hardship programs that they offer.

These programs will give you a fixed paycheck that you can rely on paid out on a bi-weekly basis until you hopefully find a new job. The program only lasts for about 6 months at which point you’ll have to cover your own living expenses or look into special programs like this loan to help cover your living expenses.

If you qualify for the benefits you’ll get help paying your living expenses over time, but you will only get around half of your income as a replacement from this program at the high end and possibly less than that. That leaves you with a serious wage gap that you will have to make up for with other programs or through part-time work while you search for full-time jobs.

How the Unemployment System Works in New York

The New York State unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national average, which means it’s important for NY citizens to understand how to use NY unemployment insurance that their employers are paying toward every single month.

Each full-time employee in the state is entitled to unemployment benefits in NY. These benefits give the employees access to paid benefits every week for around up to 6 months after losing their job.

New applicants working with the Department of Labor in Brooklyn NY or other areas of the state have questions like “How long does it take for unemployment to kick in?” and “How do I know if my unemployment claim was approved?” These questions are simple to answer and most applicants will hear back from their local office quickly after applying.

The first step to claiming unemployment benefits is learning how to apply for unemployment in NY. It’s simple and fast for anyone with a phone or internet access. Simply dial the NYS unemployment phone number to talk to a person and submit an application that way. Applicants can also visit Labor.ny.gov and fill out an online application to apply that way.

Applying for unemployment takes an hour or less for most people and is a quick and easy process that can bring benefits and state help rapidly. Down below we look more closely at the requirements of the system and the application process itself.

Important Unemployment Terms to Know

When getting ready to file for unemployment in NY with a local office like the Syracuse unemployment office, there are some terms that you should be aware of. Not all of these terms will show up on the application, but knowing them all will help with understanding the system of unemployment insurance in NY today.

  • The Base Period – The first four full fiscal quarters out of the last five before filing for NYS UI. Most eligibility requirements for unemployment in New York are met in the base period.
  • Alternate Base Period – The four financial quarters directly before you submit forms to apply for unemployment in NY.
  • Extended Base Period – A longer timeframe for considering income for unemployment. This is only available to applicants that receive worker’s compensation and don’t have the income to qualify for unemployment in the Base Period.
  • New York State Employment Benefits Rate – The amount paid out each week for unemployment benefits once you’re approved.
  • Benefit Year – The one year period that begins the day you’re approved to receive unemployment. Up to 26 weeks of benefits are allowed during this period under the program guidelines.
  • Certifying Benefits – The verification process you must go through each week to receive New York State employment benefits from the government.
  • UI – Unemployment insurance – A special insurance program every employee is entered into when starting work at a big company. This insurance protects you if you lose your job.

Taking a moment to get familiar with these terms will help you understand your unemployment benefits and the process to obtain them. Keep reading for more information such as how long does unemployment take to get approved what the New York State unemployment login is for and how do you reach out to the NYS unemployment contact for answers to your questions.

New York Unemployment Requirements to Be Aware of

If you plan on trying to obtain NYS unemployment benefits there are some requirements that you must meet in order to successfully get approved for benefits. The program is designed to help anyone influenced by the higher NY unemployment rate but you must file for unemployment in NY in order to benefit from the program.

In order to be eligible to apply for the program, you must have earned enough money in the past year and work a large enough number of hours for your employer. Unemployment in NYS is paid out on a sliding scale based on what you earned and the conditions of your unemployment.

As long as you worked long enough and you aren’t employed currently you can apply and get an unemployment pending status while you wait for your application to be reviewed. If you’re wondering how long do you have to work to collect unemployment in NY, the general term is one year with full-time hours.

This is something that will be covered on the application itself when you fill it out. If you aren’t sure how to apply for unemployment in NY, you can easily do so by visiting the website for the Department of Labor. This is the same office that monitors the unemployment rate in New York and puts out different programs to help everyone affected by unemployment.

Along with working enough hours, and earning enough money, you must also have been let go at no fault of your own. This usually means being let go due to layoffs or because the business went out of business. If you were fired from your job and the position is still open, you won’t qualify for unemployment, unless you were fired due to circumstances out of your control.

If you meet the requirements you should go ahead and apply for unemployment benefits. Below we’ll look at how to apply for unemployment and how long does it take for a decision to be made on unemployment.

Applying for Unemployment: Learn the Steps

Once you decide that you meet the terms of NYS unemployment eligibility, you’re ready to move on to applying for NY unemployment benefits. Fortunately, the application process is quick and easy.

To start, call the New York Department of Labor office in your area. By dialing the number, or creating an account and signing in with the NYS unemployment login will get the process started.

Either provide all the necessary information for the application to the worker over the phone or enter in the information required on the website. Meeting the NYS unemployment eligibility requirements isn’t difficult to do as long as you have been working long enough and for enough hours for an employer that pays into the unemployment program. Luckily, all legal employers throughout New York State participate in the program.

While filling out the application you will need access to all the following information:

  • Contact information for your last employer
  • The last day you worked for your employer
  • Why you don’t work for the employer any longer
  • If you are getting any other source of income such as a pension or something else.
  • If you can accept full-time work at this time
  • Documentation showing you can legally work in the United States.

As long as you meet the requirements and you have the necessary documentation, you should be able to get through the application process quickly and easily. Many people have questions like “how will I know if my unemployment claim was approved?” or “how long is this process going to take?”. After submitting your application you will be notified in just a week or two whether you’ve been approved or denied. Notifications are sent out through email and by phone depending on how you applied for unemployment.

The application process usually doesn’t take more than an hour to complete, and once it’s finished you shouldn’t have to wait longer than two weeks to hear back from the office about eligibility.

Unemployment Pay: How Much Can You Expect Each Week?

So you think you’re eligible to use the New York unemployment insurance program and you’re planning on filing for unemployment in NY but you haven’t yet. You’re likely wondering how much money you’ll qualify after you go through the process. The answer is that it depends.

The amount that you receive from Unemployment in Brooklyn or the benefits in any other part of the state will range from $100 to $430 per week. This amount is determined by how much you made and how much you worked during the Base Period that the application looks at.

So if you’ve been asking questions like “how much is unemployment in NY?” You should have your answer now. Figuring out how much you’ll receive specifically isn’t very difficult either. You just have to plug in your earnings from the qualifying quarters and you’ll get all that information using a calculator for unemployment benefits.

Fill in your information to one of the many online calculators to get an idea of how much money you can expect in benefits, then take the time to apply for unemployment. Once you’ve finished that process you can start wondering about how long does it take to receive unemployment and start the countdown to getting your benefits.

You shouldn’t have to wait more than a week or two to hear back about your application and whether you were approved or denied. If you’re approved you’ll get your NYC unemployment login and all the information about how to check your balance and when your money will come in as well. It can take between three and six weeks before you receive your first benefit payment after applying to the program.

You can use the New York State unemployment login to find out whether money is in your account or not. You should be given information about how much unemployment will I get in NY during the application process itself, but if you don’t find out then you can clearly see just how much you received in your account as you’re paid.

Since all payments are sent out digitally today you won’t have to wonder “how long does it take to get an unemployment check?” like recipients used to have to worry about. Instead, you can watch your account and see when the money is added to it in real-time.

Once you’re approved to receive unemployment benefits, you just have to make sure you continue to meet your eligibility requirements over time by proving that you are actively looking for work and by certifying your benefits every single week. You can get benefits for up to 26 weeks after you start the program, but hopefully, you’ll have another full-time job before you make it to the end of the program.

How Your Benefits are Calculated

When determining how much money you are entitled to through the unemployment benefits program, New York State experts use simple calculations to decide how much you should be given up to the maximum amount of $430 per week. This amount is calculated by looking at your highest-paid quarter during the Base Period used to determine your eligibility, and dividing that amount by 26 weeks.

In other words, a quarter of your annual earnings is divided by approximately half a year’s worth of weeks. You would have had to make around $11,000 in your highest-paid quarter in order to qualify for the maximum benefit payout from the government.

Use this simple calculation to quickly determine how much you can expect to get from the government if you are approved for unemployment benefits. The results may be slightly different than what you calculate, but they should be similar.

Claiming Your Weekly Benefits Payment

Once you’re approved to receive unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor in NY you aren’t finished working or your money. You still need to prove that you are looking for work and claim your benefits every other week.

To prove you’re looking for work you need to show how you’ve taken at least three actions toward finding a new job each week. That could be submitting an application somewhere or calling a business to ask about work that they have to offer. No matter how you look for work, record it down on paper so that you have proof to show off.

You will need your proof to ensure that you can claim your unemployment benefits each week That’s because every week you need to use your unemployment login in NY to enter your claim information, or you need to call unemployment in NY and give them your claim information over the phone.

You have to go through one of the two processes in order to get your benefits for the week. If you can’t prove that you were actively looking for full-time work you could lose your benefits for the week and hurt your chances of getting future benefits as well.

Keeping up with the requirements of the unemployment program isn’t difficult to do, but it does take some time and effort. Make sure that you’re going through the necessary steps to keep your benefits payments coming in after you file for unemployment in NYC.

Always Keep Written Records for Job Actions

Throughout the time that you receive unemployment benefits, it’s vital that you keep detailed records of what you’re doing to get yourself a new job. This is vital because you may be called in for an interview where you will be asked for this information.

On occasion, people are called in for interviews to talk about their unemployment. During these interviews, you’ll be asked to show off your records and prove how you are looking for a new job. If you can’t prove that you’ve been doing what you’re supposed to to find a new job you could lose your benefits and even be held liable to pay your past benefits back.

As long as you write down who you call, what applications you submit and everything else that you do, and you’re trying for at least three jobs a week, you shouldn’t have an issue with the program.

Use JobZone for Easy Record Keeping

While on unemployment you are free to search for jobs any way you like, but keep in mind that you will have to show proof that you’re looking for jobs. This means keeping detailed records about everyone that you talk to while searching for jobs. For some people, this is a huge amount of work and one of the worst parts of getting unemployment benefits. JobZone can simplify this though.

JobZone is a computer search tool for jobs throughout New York State. The program allows you to easily search through thousands of jobs in your area. It includes filters for specific keywords and distances away from your location.

By using JobZone you can make it easy to see the different jobs you applied for and you won’t have to worry about keeping detailed records of all your job application submissions. The New York government can look through your JobZone records and will have access to them at any time.

JobZone isn’t the only job search tool online, but it’s the one we recommend people getting unemployment benefits use first. It’s very simple to use and integrates with your account as well for maximum convenience.

Follow Along with Your Work Search Plan for Best Results

Every person that qualifies for unemployment benefits will be provided with a Work Search Plan. This special plan details what you will do to find a new job in the most efficient way possible. This plan is key to helping you get a new job, and it’s also a key to helping you remain compliant with the program and keep getting your benefits.

The plan outlines the type of work you’re going to look for, how many applications and other work search activities you’ll complete each week, and what your goals are throughout your time looking for jobs.

You should get very familiar with this plan and also talk with your representative about any changes you would like to make to your plan or other strategies you plan to use to find work other than what is laid out in the plan itself.

Ignoring your Work Search plan will make it more difficult for you to meet the requirements of your unemployment program and keep the benefits coming in. Not only that but ignoring the plan could make it more difficult for you to find a high-quality job and get you earning money once again.

Not Meeting Work Search Requirements Can Cost you Short Term Money Through Forfeit Days

If you fail to meet your work search requirements for a particular week, the most common penalty that you will face is known as a forfeit. Each benefit week pays out four days worth of compensation for you. Each forfeit day you get from the government takes 25% away from the benefit amount. Four forfeit days will remove a full week of benefits from you and it’s possible for multiple weeks of forfeit days to be used as a penalty in some circumstances.

If you are careful to meet all your work search requirements you shouldn’t have to worry about forfeit days, but if you are penalized by them just know that each day means you’ll lose 25% of one week of benefits. If you get more than four days you’ll lose pay from the following week as well, so it’s important to avoid these days whenever possible.

If you do receive forfeit days you can appeal them to get your money back. The simple appeal process gives you a quick path to trying to get your benefits back once again, but like all the other appeal programs won’t always work for you.

How Long is Unemployment Available for?

Whether you are going to the office in Rochester for unemployment, you’re working with the NYS Department of Labor in Buffalo, NY or you’re somewhere else in the state, you will have up to 26 weeks that you can receive unemployment in a one year period.

This one year period starts right after you file for unemployment with the state, and that period determines how long you have to get unemployment. The New York State unemployment insurance program keeps a close watch on how long you’ve been receiving the benefits.

Each time the program for NYS unemployment claim weekly benefits that information is marked down and kept on file.

Even when you don’t have to wonder about things like how to file for unemployment in NY you will still have to worry about remaining eligible for the program. You need to claim your benefits each week and prove that you’re working to find a job.

If you can do those two things you could receive your benefits for up to 26 weeks. There are additional rules and requirements that go with the program though. For instance, NYS residents are allowed to exclusively try for jobs within their industry for the first 10 weeks after leaving the position while collecting unemployment benefits.

After that 10 week period, you will have to broaden your search and look for any sort of full time employment that you can get. That means you could end up working in a random job that isn’t related to what you’re trained to do at all. That’s all part of working with the unemployment insurance program in New York though.

After you go through the full 26 week period you can apply for an extension if you still don’t have work available to you. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to qualify for an extension and they are only given out in rare circumstances. That’s why it’s so important to do your best to acquire a job during the 26 week period that you’re receiving the standard unemployment benefits from the government.

How is Unemployment Paid Out?

After you’ve met all the requirements for the NYUnemployment program and you’re set up to start receiving payments from the program you’ll likely be wondering how you’re going to get the money. The program doesn’t send out checks like it used to, instead it gives money out through debit cards.

Anyone with a www.labor.ny.gov/signin account can sign in and check their account balance to see when money has been credited. These account holders will all have debit cards that they can spend anywhere they want. The NYC Department of Labor has an existing relationship with Keybank for this program.

That means that all of the cards related to the NYS unemployment claim process are tied to Keybank. It’s important to take care to claim each payout from the program because if you have a NYS unemployment missed claim you will likely lose out on that money. You must make the effort to claim the money if you want to get it.

If you’re curious about how to sign up for unemployment or you want answers to questions like “how long does it take to get unemployment in NY?” you can get the answers you’re after from the main office with the Department of Labor by calling the unemployment customer service number for NY.

This number is available on the back of your unemployment benefits card and you can very easily call it any time you’re in need of help. The New York State unemployment taxes are collected to protected employees all throughout the state. Make sure you’re taking advantage of your benefits and not missing out on them. You could be getting thousands of dollars in benefits to help with your living conditions and the program is simple to qualify for as well.

Not everyone is approved for the program though. There are plenty of individuals that go through the process to apply for benefits only to get denied. Below we cover what happens when you’re denied for unemployment benefits and what you can do about it.

Getting Unemployment Paid Through Direct Deposit Instead
Even though unemployment benefits are paid out through a debit card by default, you can have them paid directly into your bank account instead. If you would prefer to get your benefits credited to you through direct deposit you can request this service while filling out the application or through the unemployment website.

As long as you provide all of your banking information your credits will be sent straight to your account instead of to the debit card. You should be aware that the transfer times may be slower to your bank account than they are to the debit card. This difference shouldn’t be a big deal once you are used to them, but if you are in need of the benefits as soon as possible you could end up waiting a few more days for the money to be credited for the first time.

Why are Unemployment Claims Denied?

Getting approved for the New York State unemployment benefits program isn’t difficult to do as long as you meet all the requirements. There are many people that don’t meet the requirements of the program though.

If you didn’t work enough, you were terminated for the wrong reasons or you are clearly avoiding getting new work you aren’t going to be able to take advantage of the program.

Before going for your New York unemployment login and trying to get approved for benefits, make sure that you meet the requirements of the NYSUnemployment program. That means that you were let go for a reason that isn’t directly your fault at the company. It also means you earned at least $2,000 for a single quarter and that you earned more than $3,000 throughout the whole qualifying period that’s being looked at.

If you meet these requirements you should be able to receive unemployment in New York State. If you don’t meet one of these requirements you likely don’t qualify for the UI Labor NY program and will miss out on the benefits.

You can ask questions that you have by dialing the NY unemployment phone number for additional help. The NY State unemployment rate goes up and down throughout the year, and it’s up to you to make sure you have the best possible chances of getting a job for yourself during this time.

You can also make use of an unemployment calculator for NY that will help you determine exactly how much in benefits you can expect if you are approved. This amount is different for everyone and it depends on how much you earned over the last year.

If your claim is denied that doesn’t mean you can’t get benefits from the UI Labor NY program, it just means you’ll have to take the time to go through the process to appeal your denied claim. This takes some time to do and doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be approved, but it does give you a chance of approval. Always apply when you have the opportunity and you could get lucky and get approved from your appeal.

Appealing a Denied Claim: Learning the Process

After taking the time to file for unemployment in NYC or whatever area of New York state you’re in, it can be frustrating to get denied benefits. Benefits are denied to people that file for them on a weekly basis and many people move on without ever appealing the application process. This doesn’t have to be you. You can file a NYS Unemployment Appeal after being denied for a chance at still being approved.

In order to legally file an appeal, you must do so with through the NY.gov account that’s linked to your application, or by mailing the New York State Department of Labor with a Claimant Hearing Request Form. You can go through the NY state unemployment login to make this request with ease. This must be done within 30 days of getting back the denial letter from your local office.

Once you’ve requested an appeal for your New York State unemployment application, you’ll be given a date to appear in front of a judge to explain your case. It’s best to meet with a lawyer or legal aid before that day to discuss your case and whether you are eligible to file unemployment in NY.

If you have any questions about the appeal process you can submit them through the unemployment customer service NY number or email for additional help. Hopefully, you’ll be approved for unemployment benefits after sitting in front of the judge and explaining yourself. If so, you will receive back compensation between the time that you applied and the court date.

If you still don’t receive the unemployment benefits it’s unlikely that you have a very strong case for benefits. You still have appeal options available to you though if you’re willing to pursue them.

You can send an appeal over to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board for another look at your case and a chance to be approved once again. This must be done within 20 days of your sit-down with the judge. If that’s unsuccessful you can appeal it one more time by talking to the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court. This is the final opportunity to appeal the decision.

If you’re denied after going through all the possible appeal options you will have to go without unemployment benefits. Consider contacting local temp agencies and staffing companies to find temporary jobs or other income opportunities to keep you going until you find a permanent position.

The appeal process works for many unemployed individuals that get denied initially even though they are eligible for the benefits. Make sure to take advantage of this option whenever it’s available to you as long as you believe you have a real case for the benefits. The appeal process doesn’t take long and could be the difference between receiving unemployment benefit payouts and having to go without until you find another job.

Conclusion: Be Sure to Check Your Eligibility

Thousands of people become unemployed in NYS every single year and the NYS UI rate is still higher than the national average. That’s why NYS unemployment taxes are a thing and why every employer in the state pays in toward the unemployment insurance benefits program. Don’t be afraid to make use of the NY Dept of Labor jobs program to help keep you going while you look for a new position to pay your bills.

Once approved for the benefits and after you have your unemployment NY login, you can check on your balance and make the most of your benefits that come in each and every week. Going through the process to file unemployment in NY takes less than an hour for most people and it’s a very helpful tool to anyone without a job. The government will continue to collect that NYS DOL UI tax whether you use the program or not, so you should make the most of it as long as the compensation is available to you and you need it.

For more information about additional government programs see this link and find out other ways you can get help in your time of need from the NY government. There are many different programs available to help make living without your job possible.

NYS Unemployment FAQ

The New York State unemployment benefits program can be confusing to learn and understand. Even after reading through the information up above you likely still have some questions that you want answered. That’s why we put together this FAQ section down below. Learn more about the program and get your specific questions answered here.

Can You Collect Unemployment and Severance in NY?

The answer to this question is maybe. You can only receive unemployment benefits while receiving severance pay if the severance pay is lower than the maximum unemployment benefit amount that you qualify for. In other words, if you qualify for $430 per week in unemployment, and you’re getting $330 in severance pay, you could get $100 in unemployment benefits during that time. If your severance pay is the same or higher than your unemployment benefits are you will have to wait until your severance pay runs out to qualify to receive this payment.

What Day Does Unemployment Pay in NY?

Unemployment generally pays four days after you submit your bi-weekly claim. This is why it’s important to submit your claim early in the week if you want access to your money sooner. The longer you wait, the longer it will take before the money is paid out.

What is the NYS Unemployment Insurance Rate?

Each employer contributes 2.5% of the employee’s pay toward unemployment insurance. This rate is the same for each employer and this is all it takes to cover employees if they become unemployed under the right circumstances.

Do employees pay a NYS unemployment tax?

No, employees are not responsible for paying for an unemployment tax. Instead, the employer is held responsible for paying into this program on behalf of the employees. That means you won’t lose any money out of your paycheck to have access to unemployment benefits.

What is the maximum unemployment benefit in NY?

Currently, the maximum amount paid out is $430 per week. This amount is subject to change in the future and different amounts are given to different individuals depending on their earnings before becoming unemployed.

How long do you have to work to get unemployment in NY?

This depends on how much you earned over the past year, but generally, one year of work is necessary to claim unemployment in New York state.

How long does it take to get unemployment in NY?

From the time that you apply for unemployment benefits in New York, you should expect to wait between three and six weeks before you receive your first benefit payment. This time frame is different for everyone, but most people wait at least three weeks.

Is it necessary to search for work while on unemployment?

Yes, as long as you’re receiving unemployment benefits it’s mandatory for you to search for work. You must show how you’re looking for work each week, and if you don’t have anything to show you can’t risk losing your benefits for good.

What information must I keep about my work search?

While looking for a new job it’s important to keep complete records for your unemployment search. This means writing down the names of people you contact, the addresses of the companies, the phone numbers, job fairs, workshops and anything else that you do during your time.

The unemployment experts may ask for this information and will occasionally verify the claims as well. It’s important to note that you don’t have to apply for jobs to get credit for completing work search activities. You could also attend job fairs, work with Career Centers to assess your skills, build your resume and prepare you to find a new job.

What is JobZone and why is it important?

JobZone is a job search program that’s linked to the New York State government. This special job search tool makes it easy for you to look for different job openings in your area. As you submit applications and conduct searches for different positions the Department of Labor will have records of your searches, making it simple for you to prove you’ve been looking for positions.

How long are standard benefits paid out and can you extend them?
If you qualify for unemployment benefits program you can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks after filing. After that point, the benefits are cut off under most circumstances. You can apply for an extension but these are difficult to get and most people end up having to go without benefits after 26 weeks.

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