New York Unemployment – Know Your Rights

  Last Verified: January 2017  

Unemployment in New York is handled by the New York State Department of Labor. Filing for unemployment is fairly simple and the DOL recommends filing online for the quickest response. The Department instituted reforms beginning in 2014 due to legislation by the NY state leadership, who believed the amount of compensation in NY had not kept pace with the increases in cost of living. This article will keep you abreast of the latest developments in the process of obtaining unemployment benefits in NY.

New York workers looking for assistance may also contact the Claimant Advocate Office. The title is slightly misleading as this office is not set up to argue a problem on your behalf. It does offer advice to claimants who need help in understanding unemployment insurance rules, processes and decisions.

Seal of New_York

Eligibility for Unemployment in NY

The requirements to collect unemployment insurance in New York are similar to most other states. In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, you must have worked for an employer covered by the state unemployment law, and earned enough wages within a 12-month period. There is an additional eligibility test, and to pass, you should be:

  • unemployed through no fault of your own
  • able and available to work
  • legally allowed to work in the US or be a US citizen

The state will examine your wages over a 12-month period to determine if you pass the wage earnings requirement. Then, the examiner will examine other issues separately. If the state finds that you are eligible, the state will inform you of how much you will receive.

Eligibility Requirements Explained

Unemployed Through No Fault of Your Own

Your actions or decisions cannot be the cause of your separation from work. If you quit without a good cause connected to your work, the state will deny your claim. If your employer fired you for actions considered to disregard their interests, the state may consider that misconduct connected to work. So then, the state may deny your claim.

Able and Available

You must be physically and mentally able to work when you file your initial claim for benefits. You must be available to accept any reasonable job offer. A reasonable offer is for a job you’ve been trained to perform at a salary similar to your previous position.

Legal to Work in the US

You must be a US citizen or be able to provide proof that you can work legally in the US to be eligible to receive benefits. You must have worked in New York during the base period to be eligible.

As a condition of receiving benefits after the state approves your initial claim, you must show you are actively looking for work. Also, you may not refuse a reasonable job offer.

Wage Earnings Requirement and the Base Period

The state requires that you earn enough wages within a 12-month period, called the base period, to be eligible to receive benefits. The base period is the first four out of the last five quarters prior to your filing your initial claim.

unemployment base period

This chart shows the base period.

  • You must have collected wages from working in at least two calendar quarters (3 month periods) in your base period AND
  • You must have earned at least $1,900 in one calendar quarter of your base period for wages earned in 2016. The amount will increase to $2,100 in 2017.
  • The total wages paid to you must be at least 1.5 times the amount paid to you in your high quarter.  Exception: If your high quarter
    wages were $9,350 or more, you must have been paid at least $4,675 (half of $9,350) total in the other three quarters of your base period.  Example: Your high quarter wages were $4,000. You must have been paid at least $6,000 ($4,000 x 1.5 = $6,000) total for all four quarters of your base period.

If you do not qualify using the standard base period, the state will examine your wages over the last 12 -months prior to your filing a claim. You may ask the state to use the alternative base period if you think your benefit amount will be higher as a result.

Calculating Your Unemployment Benefits

The Department uses the base period wages to determine how much you’ll receive each week, your weekly benefit amount (WBA). If you received wages in all four quarters of your base period and your highest quarter wages are:

  • More than $3, 575, your WBA will equal the wages from your highest paid quarter divided by 26. If that calculation is $143 or less, your WBA will be $143.
  • Less than or equal to $3,575, then your WBA your high quarter wages divided by 25 or $100, whichever is higher.

If you earned wages in only two or three quarters of your base period and the wages in the highest quarter are:

  • More than $4,000, your WBA will be the average of your two highest quarters divided by 26. If that’s less than $143, then your WBA will be $143.
  • From 3,576 to $4,000, then your WBA will equal the wages from your highest paid quarter divided by 26.
  • $3,575 or less, then your WBA is your high quarter wages divided by 25 or $100, whichever is higher.
The maximum WBA you can receive in New York is currently $430. The amount increases annually. The minimum also will increase regularly and is currently $100.
The Department will notify you of their wage earnings requirement calculation and your potential WBA in the Monetary Benefit Determination notice. Receiving this notice does not mean that the state approved your benefit claim. You still must be otherwise eligible to receive benefits.

How to Apply for Unemployment in NY

You should file your claim for unemployment insurance within the first week of being completely or partially unemployed. If you wait longer, you can potentially lose your benefits. There is a waiting period of one week before you begin receiving benefits.

You cannot file during a week in which you work for 4 or more days or gross a weekly income of over $420. In those circumstances, you will have to wait until the following Monday to file.

What you need to file your claim

Before you file your claim, you will need the following:

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s license or state issued ID
  • Contact information (mailing address and phone number where you can be reached between 8am-5pm Monday-Friday)
  • Alien registration card number if you are not a U.S citizen
  • Information of your employers for the past 18 months (names and addresses)
  • Most recent employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). This can be found on your past W-2 forms.
  • For federal employees, copies of your SF8 and SF50 forms.
  • Your bank’s routing number and checking account number if you choose direct deposit.

How to apply

You can file your claim online. You will need your NY.GOV ID which you can create here. Once you create your ID, you can sign in on the same page to access the application. You can file your claim online:

  • Monday-Thursday: 7:30AM-7:30PM
  • Friday: 7:30AM-5:00PM
  • Saturday: All day
  • Sunday: Until 7:00PM

Alternatively, you can file over the phone Monday-Friday between 8AM-5PM by calling the Telephone Claims Center at (888) 209-8124. For the hearing impaired, you may call (888) 783-1370.

Only the claimant may use the online system to file for unemployment benefits. If this is your first time filing for unemployment in New York, you will have to create a PIN. You cannot share this PIN with anyone else.

If you are disabled or otherwise unable to complete the application yourself, you must be present while another person helps you through the process. Allowing someone else to use your PIN number without you being present can result in a loss of up to 20 weeks of unemployment benefits. For more information on having someone help you file for unemployment insurance in New York, see this Fact Sheet.

You must make a new claim every week you want to receive benefits. The unemployment week begins Sunday and ends Saturday, so you must certify your claim each Sunday.

After you file your claim, the DOL will send you a Monetary Determination letter that shows all of the information used to determine whether or not you are eligible for benefits as well as how much you will receive. It is extremely important that you check this form for accuracy. If something is incorrect, you must complete a Request for Reconsideration Form.

Maintaining Eligibility and Weekly Certifications

The state requires that you maintain eligibility throughout the time you receive benefits. You will have to file a claim each week, called certifying for benefits. You’ll perform the task in the same manner as you did filing your initial claim. You can certify online or with the Tel-Service.

You will have to answer certain questions regarding your status. The Department wants to know if you:

  • Remain able and available to work
  • Whether you’re looking for work
  • Whether you have start or quit a job
  • Whether you refused a job offer
  • Whether you earned any wages or had any income

You claim your benefits at the end of your benefit week. A benefit week runs from Monday until Sunday.

Part-time Work and Unemployment Benefits

You can work part-time and still receive benefits as long as the wages you earn don’t exceed your WBA. You have to report your wages during the week you earned them. If you don’t report your wages correctly, you may lose your benefit payment or the right to future payments. You may face fraud charges.

If you work a certain amount during the week, the state will deduct money from your WBA. If you work fewer than four days in a week and earn less than your WBA, you can receive partial benefits. If you work:

  • one day, the you receive 3/4 of your WBA
  • two days, you receive 1/2 of your WBA
  • three days, you receive 1/4 of your WBA

It doesn’t matter how many hours you worked, you must count the entire day, even if you only worked an hour.

Work Search Requirement

You must be actively engaged in the job hunt to receive benefits. If your wages are based on full-time work, you still have to look for full-time work if you are working part-time and receiving partial benefits.

The state requires that you perform at least three job search activities during each week you receive benefits. You must perform at least one of the acceptable activities numbered 1 through 5 below, and two from all nine listed.

  1. Using employment resources available at the local New York State Career Center, such as:
    1. Meeting with Career Center advisors;
    2. Getting information from Career Center staff about jobs that may be available in a particular industry or region (obtaining job market information);
    3. Working with Career Center staff to assess your skills and match them to possible occupations and jobs (skills assessments for occupation matching);
    4. Participating in instructional workshops; and
    5. Getting job referrals and job matches from the Career Center and following up with employers.
  2. Visiting a job site and completing a job application in person with employers who may be reasonably expected to have openings.
  3. Submitting a job application and/or resume in response to a public notice or want ad or to employers who may reasonably be expected to have openings.
  4. Attending job search seminars, scheduled career networking meetings, job fairs or job search workshops
  5. Interviewing with possible employers.
  6. Applying for employment with former employer(s).
  7. Registering with and checking in with private employment agencies, placement services, unions and placement offices of schools, colleges or universities and/or professional organizations.
  8. Using the telephone, business directories, internet or online job-matching systems to search for jobs, get leads, request referrals or make appointments for job interviews.
  9. Applying and/or registering for and taking Civil Service examination(s) for government job openings

You will have to keep a written record of your job search activities. You may use the state’s recommended online tool Job Zone to keep records.

The state may require some workers to create a Work Search Plan. It will be a contract between you and the job search advisor the state assigns to work with you.

Reasons for Denial of Benefits

If you do not earn enough money in your base period, the state will deny benefits. The state will inform you in the Monetary Determination notice. You may request a redetermination of your base period wages, or you may appeal the decision to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.

This is only the first inquiry that will answer whether you receive benefits. The claims examiner will look at issues regarding your separation from work, and whether you quit without good cause or were dismissed by your employer for misconduct. If your actions or decisions caused the separation from work, the Department will deny benefits.

If you quit because you could not get child care, you quit for personal reasons that are not “connected to work,” as child care is generally a personal responsibility. If you quit to return to school full-time, you quit for a good cause, but for personal reasons unconnected to work.

If your employer fires you because you repeatedly violated policy after repeated warnings, the claims examiner is likely to determine that your employer dismissed you because of misconduct. With regards to a benefit determination, misconduct is some action that shows a lack of concern for the employer’s interests.

Other issues

You may be eligible based on your wages and separation from work. Still, there are other reasons the state may deny benefits.

  • You were unable to work
  • You were unavailable to work
  • You lost your job because of some criminal action connected to work
  • You refused an offer for suitable employment
  • You are on strike

You may appeal any decision or determination against you to the Board. Please see our article on filing an appeal for more information.


Once you have been approved to receive benefits, payments are delivered through a Direct Payment Card or through direct deposit in your checking account. The Direct Payment Card functions like a debit card. Money can be withdrawn from an ATM or swiped at just like a credit/debit card.

You are eligible to receive benefits for up to one year but can only receive 26 times your full weekly rate. So if your rate is $200 a week, you can receive up to $5,200.

The state has during times of high unemployment, offered extended benefits. The federal government authorized Emergency Unemployment Compensation during the most recent recession. Such payments are not currently available, buy may occur should the situation change.

Payments are deposited once a week for each week you file online. If you fail to file, you will not receive benefits for that week. If you do not certify for a week of benefits, you can write a letter to the DOL at:

New York State Department of Labor

Central Support Unit

PO Box 15130

Albany NY 12212

In the letter you must include your contact info (name, address, phone number) SSN, Dates you wish to be credited for, and the reason why you failed to claim benefits.

Contact Information and Resources

DOL Phone number: (888) 209-8124

Email DOL:

DOL Address: New York State Department of Labor, P.O. Box 15130, Albany, NY 12212-5130

Claim weekly benefits: 1-888-581-5812

Filing online:

Direct Pay Card Information: (877) 221-1634

Report overpayments: (800) 533-6600

Report Fraud: (1-888) 598-2077

NY Unemployment Claims handbook:

Benefits rate calculator:


  • Heather

    Good Morning,
    I was recently terminated from my job (in the medical field) of 8 years Due to a coworker accusing me of looking at their information, She told them that I had told her I did.. I did not commit this action. My employer believed her story and did not let me explain any of the conversation because when I started to explain they cut me off and said that they believed her story.

    I was given the opportunity to resign or just be terminated (either way I was done at the institution) I was told that either way they would give a neutral reference, I chose resignation because I was told that they couldn’t give specific actions if I resigned.

    I am not sure at this time whether it would be considered being fired or quitting.. In my case which is correct? I’m afraid either way I wont be able to collect benefits 🙁
    Thank you

  • Paulette

    Hi Daphne;

    (Nice meeting you). I just quit my job after working 27 years. There are two issues that convinced me to do so.

    Issue 1: I went out on medical leave April 27-July 5, 2017. I had to exhaust all my accumulated sick and vacation time (I had over 59 days+), so I was getting paid while I received physical therapy and pain management (in lieu of surgery) for my osteoarthritis, vertigo, and back issues which often impeded me from performing my duties efficiently. I am still undergoing therapy and physically cannot continue performing the physical demands of my duties (School Head Cook). I am in a lot of pain. My Doctors extended my medical leave of absence from July 11-Sept. 1, 2017 . To date, I still am not physically feeling any better as each issue needs direct attention, and my doctors are again extending my leave from Sept 2-Nov. 2, 2017.

    Issue 2: I have travel to work as Head Cook every day, leaving my house @4:45 AM and arriving at 6:20; 6:30. It takes me 1 hour & 45 mins to get there.. Travel time is also inhibiting me. I am not able to continue in this line of work anymore, I have other skills I wish to utilize and willing to work in a position that does not require long hours of standing, heavy lifting, long hours of traveling time. I never had an issue commuting until now. I simply cannot do it any longer. I do not drive because of vertigo, and must rely on public transportation. I also applied for SSD but was denied (I will appeal).

    Therefore, I would like to know, given that I can no longer do this particular job anymore and I had quit because there are no secy positions available at the time, will I be entitled to UI?

    Thank you very much for your consideration.

  • Mike

    I will be laid off soon. I expect to collect max unemployment benefits after my severance package runs out. I understand that while collecting unemployment I can work part time and collect partial unemployment as long as I don’t work 4 or more days and don’t earn over $430/wk. If I work 1 day a week and earn $400 will I be able to additionally collect 3/4 max unemployment benefit?

    • In NY, if your severance is paid 31 days after discharge, your unemployment benefits are not delayed. NY will pay unemployment benefits from the week you apply. Most NY employers delay payment of severance for at least 31 days exactly for this reason – so as not to delay your benefits. Apply for benefits immediately after layoff. No point in waiting for your benefits unnecessarily. NY will ask for details on the severance package. Yes, if you work one day or part of a day, NY will pay 75% of your weekly benefit.

      • Mike

        Unfortunately my company is is one which says it will not delay severance. I will try asking again prior to my layoff date. They also say they will not payout in 1 lump sum. They are going to do weekly payouts of my base salary until my severance package runs out.
        During this time, while waiting for severance to run out, do I need to provide evidence of job searches or other qualifying activities to qualify for unemployment benefits when I am eligible?
        Thank you

        • You don’t need to do job searches during the severance period because you are not certifying for benefits weekly. You should, however, submit a claim application immediately to preserve wages in your base period. You can then reopen the claim and begin weekly certifications when the severance is exhausted.

  • Kim R

    Hi my grandmother is in her 90s would she still able to receive her unemployment? Also would she still be able to get it if she moves from New York to New Jersey? Thank you so much!!

    • Seriously? In her 90’s? Where did she work that she is now collecting unemployment benefits? Are you, perhaps, thinking of her Social Security and pension benefits? All three benefits can be collected wherever she lives. She is not required to live in New York.

  • Michael


    I was recently laid off after 15yrs of employment in NY due to a “Reduction in Force”. Unfortunately I was on FMLA/Disability when I was informed of my separation. I have a few questions. Your help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Will the disability benefits I was receiving while employed be terminated as a result of my lay off?

    2. Do I apply for unemployment while collecting disability? If not, how soon after do I apply for unemployment benefits? (I read you couldn’t receive both at the same time).

    3. Lastly, I plan to relocate to another state in the near future. How will my unemployment benefits be impacted?

    Thanks in advance



    • If employer is making these payments, check with your HR people. If it is NYS, the payments should continue. Apply for unemployment benefits when your disability ends. Applying now will confuse the system – and stop the disability payments. But, if you can get through to NY, verify this. Each state is different. NY make take the UE application and just suspend benefits until your disability payments end.

      Yes, you may collect NYS unemployment benefits if you move to another state. Notify NY of your new address prior to your move.

  • Lori

    If my last day of work was the last day of July 2017. Can I still apply for unemployment benefits? I did not realize I could?

  • Maria

    I have a question. I have applied for NY unemployment and finally saw online on the 22nd of August that my payment was released after 3 weeks of “pending”. I chose the debit card option but am still waiting to recieve it?! Is this normal that a payment was released and I still don’t have my debit card, it’s the 3rd week. Does NY wait to send the card until you are approved and not before? Also, when my card does arrive will be accessible? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

  • NRF

    Hi, my last day worked was 8/18/17. The company I worked at for the past 11 years gave out Voluntary Severance packages to my department. I decided to take it. Based on comments I’ve read on this site, I would eligible for UI. My question deals with Severance although I haven’t received it yet. This company pays out semi monthly on the 15th and the 30th. So I may get my Severance on 9/30. That is more than 30 days after I was let go. How will it affect my UI claims?

    • More than 30 days it won’t have any effect. Less than 30 days, you need to wait for equivalent severance weeks to pass before NY will pay benefits. Most NY employers know this and delay payment of severance so your unemployment benefits are not affected.

  • S.A.

    Hi Daphne

    I was laid off in NY State after 17 years of work – my last full day of work was june 1 however i was extended on the books until june 6th because i had an internal job interview to see if i could get a job but that was from home i was not working. i did not get the job. I received a severance package july 1 direct deposit. My unemploment case worker emailed me 6/30 to ask if i had received a sev package i said no not yet because that was the truth. I started to receive unemployment payments and was approved. Then i got an email asking me to report date of sev package so i called to report it. then i got denied. the denial letter does not tell me what to do about tr money that i received. what do i do now? i was told that its because my package came july 1 instead of july 6. which is nuts becauae my last work day was really june 1. but i did get paid until june 6.

    • How many weeks of severance were you paid?

      Generally, if severance is received AFTER 30 days of discharge, in NY there is no effect on your benefits. Because you received severance within 30 days of the June 6th discharge, your benefits are delayed until equivalent weeks of severance have passed. It is clear with the 7/1 payment it was your employer’s intent to avoid this delay, but your 6/6 extension of employment voided that.

      You should NOT have received a letter of denial. What you may have received is a letter of disqualification for x number of weeks. What, EXACTLY, does the letter state – does it give specific dates of disqualification? What you may need to do is call NY when the severance period has passed to REOPEN the claim. For now, NY cannot pay you but is probably not going to be aggressive on repayment of what you’ve received so far and is, instead, assuming future claimed weeks will offset that overpayment. Absolutely, keep claiming if the system allows.

  • Patty

    I’ve been working in NY at my position for over 12 years. We were just informed that our landlord is selling the house we currently live in and the new owners want it empty. My husband and I own a small vacation home in South Carolina and decided it would make sense for us to move to SC. This move means I’ll have to quit my job. Does NY unemployment accept loss of housing for reason to collect? If so where would I apply, NY or SC? I will be looking for a new job in SC.

  • Ralph

    What if I am receiving full parsonage for being a clergy-work in church – can I claim UI?

  • Mrs. Blennerhassit

    My husband was downsized out of his job, and is on unemployment, looking for work. Next month is my mom’s 75th birthday. We live in NY, she lives in NC. We are not sure what the procedure is regarding the unemployment benefits, if we go to NC for a few days to see my mom.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    • A few days is not a week. He continues to claim through NY provided he has done work searches for the week claimed. If he performs no work searches for a week, he does not claim that week.

  • Mario

    I am currently receiving unemployment insurance through NYS. On a recent interview, the potential hiring manager mentioned the possibility of my working freelance to measure fit in a “try before buy” scenario.

    Some questions that I’m hoping you can answer:

    1. If I accepted the above and was not hired full-time, would my UI benefits be “paused” for the duration of my freelance engagement, with the ability to pick up where they left off after it ends, or would I lose any benefit weeks worked during this time?

    2. It’s my understanding that I am only required to report any earnings to NYS after they are received. In order to continue receiving UI benefits while freelancing, would I be able to have the entire amount of the freelance engagement paid at once upon completion, thus only losing the UI benefit for the week earnings were reported?

    3. Can the company withhold UI and other taxes under a w-4, or would I need to fill out a 1099 (I am not set up to do business on my own).

    4. How would I properly convert a yearly salary into an hourly freelance or contract rate for services, with any additional considerations included?

    Many thanks in advance!

    • 1. Stop claiming the week you begin the freelance job. You call NY to resume benefits when the job ends. Unpaid benefits remain available until the end of your benefit year.

      2. That is incorrect. You are required to report earnings the week you earn them – NOT when you are paid. Therefore, you file no claims while you are freelancing if your freelance hours/work are the equivalent of your weekly benefit. Further, even one hour of “work” a day – whether or not paid – requires NY reduce your benefit for that week by 25%. Best way is to keep things simple and not claim at all while working freelance. Then, if you get paid weeks after you’ve done the work, you don’t need to report that income at all because the work was done the weeks you were not claiming.

      3. Companies don’t withhold for SE/freelance. You are responsible for filing your own estimated tax payments and payment of self-employment tax. 1099/SE/freelance is a great way for the company to save itself a lot of money in payroll taxes – this is why they are doing it. Further, they have no paperwork requirements other than issuing the 1099.

      4. Add estimated value of benefits and FICA (approximately 7.65% employer’s share) to your gross yearly salary, divide by 52, divide by 40.

      Read the NY handbook – in particular page 19 – on how you are to report work.

      You report “work” whether or not paid. You should not work freelance and claim benefits at the same time without reporting the work and its monetary value whether or not paid. Failure to report work – whether or not paid – while at the same time claiming benefits is fraud.

  • Mark Q.

    Hi Daphne,

    Hope all is well. I started work at a law firm on 3/21/16. I was fired/let go on 7/14/17. The meeting with HR was brief and HR mentioned the termination was due to not meeting performance standards. With the exception of a meeting on 7/12/17, I’d never been formally written up. If memory serves, I’d two previous conversations with my supervisor on areas of opportunity/improvement (one of which I was therein informed this was a blanket procedure wherein they were having conversations of that nature with a multitude of employees) but my first and only formal write-up was on 7/12/1/7, two days before I was let go.

    I filed my claim on 7/17/17 and called the DOL today to see if there was any indication my former employer was contesting my claim. I was advised given that I listed I was discharged/fired, my questionnaire and my former employer’s response (phone rep. noted former employer responded 7/27/17) to said questionnaire is standard. I’m a little nervous all the same. Is the outcome of the review likely to be favorable or unfavorable? As you can imagine, it is tough to focus on much else when your benefits are in limbo.

    Thanks for your attention to this. Any and all help is appreciated.


    • Favorable. If employer cites poor performance, NY will send you questionnaire asking you to explain. It is way too early to have a decision. NY is very fair in reviewing these questionnaires. Poor performance is not disqualifying unless employer can prove it is intentional. You should be fine. But don’t expect a decision for at least three-four weeks, possibly longer.

  • Jose Ortiz

    My job just announced that they are closing and let us go but didn’t give us a termination letter
    I was unofficially ask to work 16 hours for the week by my supervisor, I would make 375 a week but the cost to put my son in day care and taking the bus comes out to 144 a week leaving me 231 a week. The cost to go to a job that is closing in 4 weeks is way too little to pay my bills. Since the official notice is that I was terminated and I don’t even know if they will pay me. I was wondering if I say no will I lose out in my benefits

    • So employer let you go. How was the announcement made? You don’t need a termination letter. A copy of the announcement is good enough.

      As of what date did they let you go? Was the termination effective immediately?

      If you have officially been terminated and have subsequently been offered part-time work, you can refuse this work as unsuitable and a material change to your employment contract. You are not required to accept this offer.

      Apply for benefits now if you have been terminated. NY will query employer on the closing and termination.

  • Armando

    If I filed a claim today, would my wages from Februrary 2016 be included in my base period?

  • TM


    Started a new job. Conditions there are causing daily nauseating migraines. Could that combined with 1.5hrs travel time, non existing work duties (literally just sitting in a hot glass building doing nothing.), low pay/ no benefits/ No breaks, rodent/pest infested Conditions…possibly equal “good cause ” for leaving.

  • Beth

    I was fired under misconduct from my employer and the determination was overruled in a fair hearing in New York state showing that the substantial evidence does not establish that separation from employment was due to misconduct under unemployment insurance law. I need to know how to answer the question “were you ever dismissed from any employment except for lack of work or funds, disability or medical condition?” Do I go by employer or the decision made by the Judge in this case?

    • None of these:

      lack of work or funds, disability or medical condition

      are relevant – unless your employer actually did dismiss you for one of those reasons and lied stating misconduct.

      Otherwise, without knowing what form of misconduct your employer accused you of and the actual circumstances for the dismissal, the only answer is ‘yes.’

  • Patty

    I currently have 14 effective days left on my claim. I’ve been offered a month-long temp assignment through an agency that will pay me on W2. It is the first assignment I’ve had with them, and for all I know could be the last.

    Should I continue to certify each week, reporting 4 days of work, then start reporting 0 days again next month? And how do I answer “Have you returned to work full time”? The assignment is full time in terms of number of hours, but it’s not a full-time job.

    Thank you for your advice.

    • You answer “NO” on the q re returning to work full-time. Generally, the states won’t pay that week if you answer “yes” because the answer is confusing. What you do is stop certifying when you begin the temp job. That’s good enough. NY will close the claim which is what every state does when no benefit is paid for a week. When the job is completed, you call NY to REOPEN the claim to collect whatever benefits remains – or attempt to reopen online. NY will want to know why the last job ended. Be sure to keep in touch w/temp agency at the end of the job, or the agency will call the contract end a quit. You don’t want that.

  • Melissa

    Can I receive UI if I’ve been getting paid completly with parsonage?

    • Are you saying you are getting free housing in lieu of cash wages? Has your employer reported the value of this housing to NYS and the IRS in the form of a $$ amount on a W-2 each year. Have you reported this income to the IRS on your 1040 each year and paid taxes thereon? If so, provided that housing was reported to NY as W-2 remuneration and UI tax paid, NY will recognize free housing as income for unemployment benefit purposes.

      Read this – specifically wages and remuneration:

      If you are losing this position and aren’t sure, apply for benefits, anyway. NY will determine your eligibility. You will need to provide NY proof of the value of this housing.

  • Anna

    I have a question. So the job that I had for 10 years was eliminated by no fault of my own. I was receiving unemployment benefits. I have been searching for work through various sources. One of the being a employment agency. I was considered for a temp to perm job and was ask to go for a “workday/interview”. I went for one day. During that same time after an interview for another company I was asked to go to a second interview and it was almost likely that I would be hired. So, I decided not to take the temp to perm job and go with the other job that was offered. I worked for that agency one day. I certified my week minus that one day. The following week I didn’t work as I went twice to interview with the other company that was about to offer my the permanent job. The week after I started on a Tuesday. Now after a week of working there it didn’t work out for me. Now I am seeking for employment again. My claims were denied as soon as I stated that I worked for one day only. Am I eligible to get unemployment for those days that I didn’t work? I am not working now as I stated before, the job that I was offered didn’t work out. I received a message to call the unemployment office to review my case.

    • Whenever you have a week of income followed by a week of no income, NY wants to know why before it will resume payments – did you quit, were you discharged. Call NY and explain the situation. Yours is not unusual. Expect suspension of benefits to happen in the future when you work on and off.

  • I collected $405 from UI for 5 1/2 weeks after 20 years of work. The last week of claiming UI, I believe I claimed that I had attended training and worked a day (2 days) and received partial UI payment of $156 after taxes. I am unsure if I claimed 1 or two days of work, how can I confirm this information? Three years later, I am being told that I was not eligible for benefits and I was overpaid $101.25 plus penalties of $100. Does this sound correct? If I was wrong, what are the repayment options?

    • You call NY collections and ask for copies of your claim forms. Then you ask them about repayment options. Each state differs in what it offers. Chances are they’ll take very small payments just as long as you stay current.

  • Kamilla

    I am a teacher who was told that there was not enough enrollment to offer me a contract for the following school year. Per my contract, I worked the 10 months required, but my pay is split over 12 months, and my last paycheck will be mid-August. My dismissal form states I am eligible for unemployment as of June 30th. When do I apply?

  • kevin rowland

    I had my unemployment appeal hearing the other day. The employer never showed and I also found out they asked for an adjournment but it was denied. I answered the questions the Law Judge asked. My question is what constitutes good cause to re-open the case for an employer that did not show up? If possible can you please explain?

    Thank you

    • Employers can make up an excuse as flimsy as they never got a notice of the hearing. Some states will grant another hearing on that alone. Claimants are never heard when objecting to an employer’s request for another hearing. The states make the decision on whether or not to grant employer another bite at the apple. Don’t worry about it until it happens.

  • M.B.

    I would like to hear your input on my situation. I have a seasonal job here in NYC that is off for 10 weeks in the summer. Bought a ticket to go home and now two weeks before I leave I found out it is illegal to collect unemployment while abroad. I have a green card and in the fall I have to reapply for them to drop the conditions. My concern is if I leave and my husbund claims it for me from here they could find out later on as they do all the clearance and background checks related to the green card process. I was told that with seasonal job when you put the date you will start back on the application they dont call you in person to go see them etc.
    What is the worst it can happen? If I just have to return the money I think is worth to try but if it can jeopardize my status better not.

    • There are NO WORK SEARCH WAIVERS for seasonal employees. When you certify for benefits, you are certifying that you are searching for work and are instantly available to start another job. NY not calling you in for an assessment does not waive your obligation to search for work and to be able and available go to work the next day.

      As you have learned, NY does not allow you to claim benefits while you are not in the country. NY can disqualify you for benefits for 80 days – the equivalent of 20 weeks. That penalty carries forward for two years.

      Having your husband claim for you is fraud – breaking the law. For that- FRAUD – you could lose your green card status. Don’t even think about doing this. NY is VERY TOUGH on out-of-country claims.

      Wait until you’re back home to claim weekly benefits when you are legitimately searching for and available to work.

      • M.B.

        Thank you very much for the quick response. I would have to cancel my flight after all.
        Can I ask you one more thing. If I work another job as an independent contractor in the summer and have to file 1099 form as a real estate agent can I still collect unemployment if I close a deal or have to report it? A colleague of mine that worked many years as a book keeper told me that I dont have to report it because they are separate things, but what I read online says I have to report any income I make.

        • Your friend is wrong. Monies from IC or SE work as a real estate agent must be reported. Further, you are required to report any work you do the week you perform it whether or not paid. Not reporting hours worked is fraud. For every day or part of a day that you “work,” – whether or not paid – NY will reduce your benefit for that week by 25%.

          Read the NY handbook, beginning at p. 19 – which explain NY’s formula for payment when you work and describes – What Is Considered Work and the types of work you must report:

  • Loraine Baum

    Hi Daphne,

    I’m writing because I’m not sure who to speak to for advice and it seems like you are very knowledgeable so, thank you in advance. While on unemployment in NY, I had a family matter in the Philippines and had to leave rather quickly (my first mistake is that I didn’t let unemployment know I would be out of country, I totally forgot) and was out there for a couple of weeks – I had started working remotely part-time before I left, and was correctly reflecting these 1 or 2 days of work per week in my claim. I left the country on a Thursday and claimed as usual on a Sunday (while in the Philippines) and let them know I worked 1 day that previous week – in all honesty, I thought that I had to let them know I worked that week before, I thought I would get in trouble if I didn’t let them know. It didn’t go through, so I emailed my partner back in NY my sign in info and had him sign into my account because I was in a place that didn’t have good internet connection. I was not planning on fraudulently claiming for the rest of the time I was out of the country, I just wanted to claim for the week that I was physically in the states. I received the Out-of-Country Questionnaire and gave them everything that was asked for immediately, my passport and itinerary etc and when I would be back. Once I got back, I’ve been trying to reach the agent who’s handling my case, and she finally wrote me back today a bunch of questions about how I certified, if someone certified for me who was it, if I gave them my password, etc – I want to respond honestly because I was genuinely trying to do what I thought was the correct procedure (CLEARLY it wasn’t, which I know now and I definitely should have read the handbook thoroughly beforehand) and my partner was only helping me and I’m super scared that I might get arrested or something. I feel so stupid because this was genuinely not done with intentions of trickery. I need the money but I’m not really concerned about getting my unemployment released at this point, I just want to make sure I’m doing things the correct way. Thank you so much for any help and insight you can provide!!

    • You won’t be arrested, so don’t worry about that. There is a very high likelihood NY will institute an 80-day disqualification from benefits which can carry forward for two years for two reasons – (1) attempting to circumvent its system and (2) fraud for allowing another to claim for you.

      Of late, however, there have been several reports of claimants performing similar circumventing and fraud behaviors only losing a few weeks’ benefits. Continue to claim. You may get lucky and benefits will resume shortly. Let us know what finally happens. It may be NY is easing up on the 80-day dq – and, if that is the case, it would be good to know the other instances of breaks with NY precedent are not anomalies.

  • Todd L

    Hi Daphne.

    So I’ve been receiving benefits for awhile and I recently was offered and accepted a job that starts on July 10. I’ll be filing for benefits until that date. My question is, do I have to keep actively searching for a job until that date even though I have one already to satisfy their search criteria? Thanks.

  • Paul

    I worked in Westchester County NY but live in Warren County NJ. Worked for 4.5 years at the Westchester County job and was RIF’d with severance. During the severance period I had significant foot surgery and was finally cleared by my doctor to work on June 14th. I also got my handicapped parking permit on 6/14 since I can now drive again. I wear a full orthopedic boot on my right foot and I am mobile via wheelchair and walker. Applying for NY unemployment and requested that we have the orientation meeting at the Middletown NY facility as it is closest to me and has handicapped parking and access. NY Unemployment is refusing my request and is insisting that the meeting take place in either the Staten Island or Varick Street offices which is much farther away from my home and much harder for someone using a wheelchair. Is there some reason that this meeting must take place at these offices ?

    • Perhaps they don’t hold meetings at the other office. Did you ask why?

      • Paul

        Thanks for getting back to me. Working on it, however when you use their web based tool to find office locations based on your home zip code, the Middletown NY site come up as a recommended place to go for me as it is closest to me, I have a call and an e-mail in to ask again as I figure this is more a communication problem. Are you aware if working in Westchester county some how drives meeting in NYC based locations ? There must be locations thriughout NY state to service all the residents. I’m just asking for a reasobale travel, as Middletown NY is 50 mile drive and Staten Island is an 80 mile drive. Staten Island has no handicapped parking or even on site parking. Parking distant of the location and using a wheel chair to get in seems unreasonble to me if I can go to a site that is a closer drive and has handicapped parking on site. Should this situation be so difficult for them to understand ?

        • I am not familiar with the specifics of the various NY locations. I do know these classes are held in groups and it may be NY doesn’t have one scheduled near you for quite a while. Not attending this meeting timely could result in a delay in payment of benefits.

          If you feel they are being unresponsive, email your elected state representative. Find yours, here:

          • Paul

            Thanks again for the quick response. Don’t know for sure about topic of meeting, but told me if I am late to meeting don’t worry as they can fit me in later in the day. I assumed this was a one on one meeting, I am from New Jersey filing for New York unemployment so is there a NJ state representative I contact or a New York representative should I need help ? Would a New York representative bother with helping a New Jersey resident ? Would a New Jersey representative have any influence on the NY Unemployment organization ?

          • Write the NY rep for your last employer. Otherwise, no a NJ rep won’t be of any help in NY.

  • E

    Worked for a company for 8 years, store manager the past 5 years. One of the district managers told me I have to move locations, stated this wasn’t a good time for me as I a, 19 weeks pregnant and the store I was working at was 2 min from my doctor. Explained to him that a few years ago had serious complications from a pregnancy which led to me losing the child at 21 weeks. He said he didn’t care and I had to move to other location. Meanwhile in our paperwork we sign when we become managers it says nowhere that we need to relocate. Again district manager didn’t care. He said if I didn’t go I had to demote myself and lose my pay or quit. I said I’m not quitting because I didn’t do anything wrong. I said if you won’t let me stay here then you are going to have to let me go. Two days later he twisted his words around and I left the job. I filled for unemployment and am waiting. It says online claim being processed, but I heard yesterday that the distrect manager is planning on fighting this, Am I going to get denied benefits??

    • Yes, you will be denied. You can argue work location is a material change to your employment contract and proximity to doctor is essential. That said, NY is fairly strict on distance issues. If you have been offered work at another location within reasonable distance of your home, it is unlikely NY will approve the claim. Proximity to the doctor won’t be considered significant unless you can present compelling evidence that being two minutes away from the doctor is good cause for you to refuse the job. You will be denied and need to appeal to plead your case. It is unlikely you will prevail – even at appeal.

      • E

        Okay but what about the Material.change in the employment contract states- such a reduction of hours/pay, changes in job duties and or location. This is in fact a discharge/job elimination, not a quit, but nonetheless provides the reason for a “good cause quit.” Which I fall under

        • You stated you were being demoted ONLY IF you refused the transfer.

          “He said if I didn’t go I had to demote myself and lose my pay or quit.”

          If the job at the new location remains substantially the same in pay/duties, then change in location isn’t sufficient good cause unless it is too far away.

          If, however, you are being asked to relocate AND being demoted, essentially you are being discharged and offered new unsuitable work as to pay, duties. The location, provided the distance is reasonable, is irrelevant, but the demotion IS relevant.

  • Justin

    The unemployment website says the work week is from Monday until Sunday. However, this website says a workweek is from Sunday till Saturday.

    If that is the case would you be able to claim the work week of Sunday 5/21 until Saturday 5/27 on 5/28 even if you are not able to work on 5/28?

  • Lynda

    If you hand in your two week notice to your current employer because you found another job. My current employer is now giving me a hard time, making you stay unbearable. I have a week remaining for my two weeks. Am I entitled to unemployment for that week if I don’t come back the final week.

    • No. NY unemployment benefits require an unpaid waiting week before benefits are paid. Further, even if you had given a month’s notice, you can’t quit without good cause. Proving hostile work environment will take months. Either way, no benefits can be paid in your situation.

  • Ben G

    I work a freelance position in New York which leaves me unemployed in the summers, other than whatever part-time work I can pick up. And the part-time summer work varies year-to-year based on demand. I applied to unemployment successfully 2 summers ago & was wondering if I would be able to apply again? I was worried that my total 26-week period would expire & I might want to keep some weeks in future if years down the line I was in a real bind.

    Does your 26-week period last a year? Or is that for a lifetime in that state?

    Can you reapply every year & qualify or will you eventually max out over time?


    • An unemployment claim is good for one year, after which all benefits available under that claim are lost. The amount of your claim is determined by earnings in the base period at the time you apply. You can reapply for a new claim when the first benefit year expires. You are allowed an unlimited number of claims in your lifetime.

      You should read this:

      • Ben G

        Thank you.

        So just to clarify, if I apply this first week of June then my claim will expire by next June & I will be able to reapply again next June if I need to?

        I have been out of work for a couple of weeks, I should probable claim sooner than later even though I am still looking for part time work? Just so that my claim year doesn’t get pushed back too late if I need to claim sooner than June again next summer?

  • debra dosch

    i just got fired 3 weeks from the 6 mth date which made me uneligible based on 2 quarters..
    my salary tho was $70K and i just can figure out why my base salary would not be covering the difference.
    i started in December 6, 2016-ended May 17th, 2017 and i cant use the second quarter because it starts in june…which means 2 months are not calculated? im really trying to figure a way..

    question: If i work the next job and they fire me after a month, tho that is not my intention still..a little backup with all the taxes i paid (35%)…would be nice…can i use the 2 separate jobs as a 6th month thing? help! im 65 and i really need to try for this! thanks debra

    • Your alternate base period now is April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017. If you apply July 2nd or later, your alternate base period will be July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. ALL earnings in those base periods can be used for an application after July 2nd. You may need to provide proof of earnings via paystubs because the state earnings database probably won’t be current.

      That said, you may still qualify now if you have had other earnings in 2016. Did you? If so, where?

      If you have earnings in another state in 2016, apply in that state instead, and reapply later in NY if you are still unemployed – or, reapply now in NY and ask for a combined-wage claim.

      A combined-wage claim is not always recommended, however, depending where you’ve worked previously. Other states on the East Coast pay better than NY, and the prospect of back-to-back claims in two states is an advantage.

      If you have no other earnings in 2016 PRIOR to your December 6th start date, reapply for NY benefits July 2nd or later, assuming you are still be unemployed at that time. This is only five weeks away. At that time, NY can use earnings through 6/30/2017, and you should be fine.

      NY says this on how it qualifies:

      Earnings Required to Qualify for Benefits
      To qualify for benefits, you must meet all three of the following earnings requirements during your base period (basic or alternate):
      • You must have worked and been paid wages in jobs covered by Unemployment Insurance in at least two calendar quarters;
      • For claims filed in 2016, you must have been paid at least $1,900 in one calendar quarter (this amount increases to $2,100 for claims filed in 2017); and
      • The total wages paid to you must be at least 1.5 times the amount paid to you in your high quarter. Your high quarter is the quarter of your base period in which you were paid the most money. Exception: If your high quarter wages were $9,460 or more, you must have been paid at least $4,730 (half of $9,460) total in the other three quarters of your base period.

      • debra dosch

        i already submitted the alterantive base with my W2 form and proof of my earnings – i didnt understand any of it…Daphne..still dont really get i dont know if i can do it again in july…
        i am wondering if i can get a part time or full time job for a few mths to make it 2 jobs that make the quarterly ok…
        ps ps the only other earnings was my ebay telosa3 fashion page (ex model turned exec assist, translator) and i sent in the taxes on it..
        CAN I REAPPLY EVEN THO, i sent in the alternative unemployment…im thinking it will be rejected…but maybe what you said here BELOW me hope!!!..that the 2 mths that didnt make the “next quarterly” could be used? t

        • debra dosch

          DAPHNE, thank you mahalo merci, grazie mille!!!
          grateful debra..will re-apply in july!

        • The eBay money won’t count if it is not W-2 wages on which UI tax is paid. Your personal income taxes are one thing, UI tax is what matters. Whatever you sent just sent in for the alternate base period won’t matter. NY should already have considered the ABP through 3/31/2017 – unless their database wasn’t current and you are sending new proof of wages not yet in their system.

          Otherwise, absolutely, reapply in July.

          NY will use a different base period in July and will include ALL W-2 earnings through 6/30/2017 – and that means ALL. If you get extra work between now and then, those wages will count. Reread the NY formula I posted on how NY calculates eligibility.

          • debra

            THANKS DAPHNE …you are amaazing and fast…i m not optimistic after what i read online about getting anyone on the phone…they make you wait for 20-45 min and then they say call back again and i remember i did that for my next question is = can i mail them the info to their albany address listed online site? mahalo debra

        • debra

          daphne, i hope you see this…i am now re-applying for unemployment since you suggested when i got fired in may…to reapply in july so my last quarterly will be counted..i went to the website and as i entered i panicked…
          how do I RE-APPLY and change my quarterly information…on the old submission…
          it says how to claim…and it starts did you work etc…do i just continue there…and it will later ask my info on how long i worked? sorry but i dont want to blow this…thank you!!! debra

          • Don’t try to amend any claim already in NY’s system. Talk to a rep first. You call NY, tell them to withdraw cancel the old claim, that you want to file a brand new claim in July with the better base period which will qualify you.

          • debra

            thanks Daphne but the prob is the last time i tried calling you only get a humans –
            what number should i call…? the one listed online is a joke!
            i really appreciate this!
            aloha debra

          • I can’t help you, there. You need to start dialing in early a.m. and keep dialing until you get put into a queue. You need to speak to a live person. If your area has a career one-stop, go there, if you can’t get through on the phone. NY is not that inaccessible from what I’ve heard over the years. Keep trying.

          • debra dosch

            Daphne as you know i re-applied after talking to an agent who reassured me (after i send in last pay check) that i qualify for base pay…so i certified this week and will see whats what..
            MEANWHILE a friend of mine from one of the secretarial jobs i had wrote me that she is now working at a doc office – and shes 65 too..and said there maybe a part time in it for me…i said i dont want to mess up my unemployment for anything…but it is rare i get a job offer…i remember seeing on the certify a question = if i worked part time was it more than $400 –
            what does that mean…does that mean i still get the full benefits if its under that amount?
            nyc benefits?
            thanks for are a life saver! aloha debra

          • You are ineligible for benefits if you earn at least your WBA in a week. If you work even an hour a day, your weekly benefit is reduced 25%, so confine your work to full days only. Read the NY manual on how it calculates benefit when you work on page 19, here:


            The above handbook is an excellent reference. If NY hasn’t sent you one, you should download and read it.

          • debra dosch

            ok so no go..thanks Daphne…no i didnt get the manual yet..but will keep your link!
            best debra

        • debra

          HI Daphne, i finally got hold of an agent as you suggested..and THANK YOU SOO MUCH! FOR THIS! and he cancelled the first unemployment application. i then (last wednesday or thursday- 7/5-6/17 applied again…i just got this message AND I WAS REALLY HAPPY until I SAW the dates…they are using my last day of employment and im hoping that they know i can only start next week….? am i being paranoid for nothing?…should i just ASSUME its approved and to ignore the below dates…and just make sure its next wednesday? thank you for your kind expertise!
          aloha! and mahalo debra

          This is an important message about the Unemployment Insurance claim that you just filed
          We have received the claim you recently filed on our website. Your claim is complete; there is no need to speak to an agent at this time.
          There are two steps you must take now:

          Step 1: Claim weekly benefits (also called “certify for benefits”) for this first week you are unemployed. The easiest way to do this is online. Go to and sign in to your account. From your “Account Overview” page, click on the “Unemployment Services” button, then “Claim Weekly Benefits” and follow the instructions. You can also claim weekly benefits by calling our Tel-Service phone line at 888-581-5812. Important: For this first week, you must claim weekly benefits beginning next Wednesday 05/24/2017, but no later than the following Saturday 05/27/2017.
          Step 2: Continue to claim weekly benefits each week you are unemployed. If you are eligible, it will take three to six weeks to receive your first payment. You will be paid any benefits you are owed after the waiting week has been satisfied.

          • You said:

            i then (last wednesday or thursday- 7/5-6/17 applied again

            Yesterday was Wednesday, July 5, today is Thursday, July 6th. As of three days ago, July 3rd, you were still trying to get through to NY. So, when, exactly, did you refile the claim?

            But before you call NY, go online and check the beginning and end dates of your claim. Check the monetary award assigned to your claim, and the quarters used for the benefit. Then check to see if you can, in fact, claim weeks going back as far as May. Generally, you are given one-two weeks’ grace period to claim a week. Anything in May is way too old to be claimed now.

            If you don’t have a whole new claim with a beginning date in July, you need to call NY again.

      • debra dosch

        ALL I can say is THANK U! DAPHNE! i called again about the mixup dates…and instead of waiting hours, i got someone in 15 min and she COULD NOT BE NICER~ she said..i see you here…let me walk you thru it..first week you file on a wed and three days later you file again and from then on that time schedule weekly…all we need from you is a paystub of last day of employment with year to year earnings to fax to us with your social security written in and no cover sheet..that way we got both quarters of the year you worked not just one..I ASKED if i was able to claim the last 6 weeks..and she said your new application starts now! so yes…woopie! all good..i found a fax machine mid manhattan at share this (NYC) base pay folks…info…thanks again! im forever in your debt! mahalo debra

  • David Quintanilla

    I live in NY but worked in CT. Do I file in NY or in CT?

  • Jeremy

    I have been claiming unemployment for a few weeks and just recently was offered a full time position I would be happy with long-term, but that position would not start until September. Could I continue to claim benefits until my potential September start date or do I need to stop claiming benefits if/when accept the offer for employment that wouldn’t begin until September. I have no other source of income. Thanks very much.

  • I worked for an institution for almost 18 years, a couple of months ago I was terminated for a so called misconduct, they said a coworker showed me an inapropriate video on his phone, when i confronted the HR lady asking about such video and that it wasn’t my phone she said it was also my fault because I didnt walk away, plus I cant recall the video or when this happened, neither does my coworker, this was my first offense in all those years and we both ended getting terminated. Somehow my coworked applied for unemployment benefits and was accepted while mines were denied, I filed for an appeal and a 2 days after receiving my hearing date they contacted my coworker to inform him that his benefits had been canceled, can they do that, what’s going on?

    • Yes, they can do this. NY probably began payments before receiving an employer response to the application – employers often ignore the first query or respond after the timeframe initially allotted. When employer was notified of the payments, then employer appealed. In this circumstance, many states will immediately suspend benefits and schedule a short-date for the hearing. NJ and CA are just two of many states which routinely will begin payments if there is no timely employer response, and then immediately suspend if employer appeals. The states don’t want to be in the position of having to collect overpayments from claimants if the employer wins on appeal.

      Relative to both your appeals – if these are one-time occurrences with no prior warning – you have a good chance of getting the denials overturned. You, especially, as not being the initiator are on better ground. Stress the one-time occurrence, you were an innocent victim – and only b/c you questioned the video were you terminated. You were not a recipient of the video nor did you show it to anyone else.

      This is a classic case of every good deed deserves a punishment. My dil, a teacher at a parochial school for five years, spoke to her school admin. about changing her health insurance benefits. Two days later, the admin said my dil should never have been on full-time status, reduced her hours, and cancelled her health insurance. That one question triggered an entire review of her status. She now has a wonderful full-time job at a huge increase in salary. So, it eventually worked out. However, she was forced to piece together two jobs for a couple of years until her present opportunity came along.

      Good rule going forward – is to keep one’s mouth shut and not talk to admin unless the issue is ongoing and serious.

      • Barbara

        I was fired Friday, may 19, 2017 and I tried to file. I have a login but could not remember my password. I tried to reset my password and it asked me 3 security questions and I do not remember my answers. How can I get a new password so I am able to file a new claim. Plus, I was at this new job from February 27 till may 19th. Do I qualify to receive unemployment benefits? Thank you for your help!

        • Earnings at your last job aren’t necessarily relevant depending on why you lost your job before that. What matters is wages in the base period for the claim. In NY you need two quarters of earnings, with total earnings equaling at least 1.5x your high quarter. For an application submitted now, NY looks at wages Jan-Dec.2016, or Apr 2015-March 2017. Call NY about a new password.

  • Sarah

    I worked a contracting job in New Jersey from the beginning of January until this week in May, when I was terminated. The agency I worked through is located in NY, but like I mentioned, the company itself is in NJ. Which state would I file an unemployment insurance claim in?

    Also, I found some freelance work that I would like to start this week. If I do this, will it bar me from receiving benefits?

    • Yes. Benefit eligibility is determined by your last work. If the last work is SE/freelance, YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS. Absolutely do NOT do any freelance or SE work until you have an unemployment claim established.

      Further, apply in NJ, first. NJ has a much better benefit and much better partial benefit than NY if you decide to work after the claim is established. If NJ shows no wages for you, then apply in NY. Your employer could have reported to either state.

      • Sarah

        Thanks for the information. Could I establish my claim today or tomorrow morning and then do freelance work that evening?

        Also, the freelance work would potentially start out with a paid test. Would I have to report that?

        • Could I establish my claim today or tomorrow morning and then do freelance work that evening?

          No. Applying for benefits is not the same as establishing a claim. You need to be certain NJ shows enough earnings in its database to grant the claim. If you are denied and need to apply in NY and have already begun the freelance work, you are ineligible in NY. Please don’t walk the edge on this.

          freelance work would potentially start out with a paid test. Would I have to report that?

          Yes. You report gross earnings the week you actually work when claiming that week – not when you are paid.

  • AA


    I claimed unemployment in 2016 and used up all my unemployment benefits for 2016. I got a contract position in Nov 2016 and that position just ended (May 8, 2017).

    Am I entitled to file a new claim for unemployment benefits?

    • When does the 2016 claim expire? You can’t apply for a new claim until your first benefit year expires. If your benefit year has expired, yes, you have eligibility for a new claim because there are probably LAG earnings remaining as well as new earnings through 3/31/2017 to qualify you.

      • AA

        Thanks Daphne for the quick response. How do I know if my 2016 claim has expired? I’ve looked online on my account and can’t seem to tell if 2016 claim has expired.


        • Claims expire at the end of the 52nd week – i.e., one year from when you first applied for benefits. Any correspondence you’ve received from NY should provide that information. Otherwise, call them.

          • AA

            Thanks, so I applied in Jan 2016, so I should be good with that. One more question, I just looked at my pay stubs for my contract work (Nov 2016 – May 2017) and noticed that there is no SUI tax being taken out, but it appears everything else has been deducted. Does this mean I do not qualify to claim unemployment?

          • NY doesn’t have a state unemployment insurance tax for employees. NJ Does.

          • AA

            Thank you very much

  • Marc Fengler

    Hi, I came to the US in 2014. I got my work authorization/permit in March 2015 and my conditional green card in August 2015. I started working in May 2015. That engagement ended in April 2016. Until then I had one project as an independent consultant in October/November 2016. I have been actively looking for a new job since I goy laid off in April 2016. I was not aware, that I – being on a conditional green card – qualify for unemployment support until today. Consequently I did not apply for it. Question: can I still apply and is there any chance I will get the unemployment support for the last year? Thank you very much for any help! Regards, M.

  • Chris

    I was collecting unemployment benefits and I receive the new job work 3 days for the new job then was told I wasn’t catching on fast enough so they let me go can I continue with my unemployment again

  • Danny Rowan

    I was recently terminated by my company, their reasoning was that I was punching in early and they said an email was sent out regarding this policy. NYS is saying because it is in their handbook that was a warning. Is this considered misconduct would I get unemployment benefits?

    • If you weren’t warned, regardless of handbook, NYS should grant the claim. Can employer prove you were given a copy of the handbook, did you sign something saying you had received handbook? Regardless, apply for benefits, answer the questionnaire NY will send you as to why you disregarded the rule. Misconduct is tardiness, absenteeism, theft, intentional poor work performance, insubordination, repeated and deliberate rule violation. This is far from that and NY tends to use a great deal of common sense in its decisions.

      • Danny Rowan

        Ok so theft is not punching in early, and I told NYS it was not done maliciously.

        • The issue is rules violation, not theft. A rules violation is also misconduct. That said, punching in early isn’t a serious rules violation – more a laughable one. However, employer may be concerned about its exposure to violation of labor laws if it has not been paying for the time when you punched in early – which may be why they fired you. Or, that particular “rules violation” may just have given the employer the excuse it was looking for to fire you and possibly not have to pay benefits.

          Again, did you know about this rule? Were you given a handbook containing this rule? Did you sign an acknowledgement? Did employer warn you about punching in early before the firing? Generally, even with a rules violation, without a warning, a one-time occurrence will not result in denial of benefits. Unless this is a pattern of behavior about which you were previously warned, it is unlikely NY will deny benefits.

          • Danny Rowan

            if denied by unemployment law although I can not find anything about this in the employment law if I appeal can I get it overturned?

          • Appeals are won all the time. Whether or not you win on appeal depends on the circumstances of your particular situation.

          • Danny Rowan

            Daphne I got my determination letter from NYS unemployment I was hoping you could explain because I was told that unemployment law would be applied it seems more like an opinion, I would copy and paste but my pdf converter is giving me trouble so I will just write it out.

            Notice of Determination:
            No unemployment insurance benefits will be paid to you for the period beginning 3/31/2017 until you have subsequently worked for an employer and earned at least 10X times your weekly benefit rate. Employment and earnings from non covered, excluded or self employment will not count. Your weekly benefit rate is $430.00.

            You were discharged for misconduct in connection with your employment with the above employer. Because of this determination you will not be able to use your wages from this employer before 3/31/2017 to collect unemployment benefits in the future.

            You were discharged because on 3/30/17 you punched in at 8:52am for your 9:00am shift generating unauthorized overtime violation policy that stated you are not punch in 5 minutes before or after your shift. You were warned by email on 3/16/17 not to assume ot was approved. Your explanation it was routine because you were working overtime just prior is not compelling. you knew or should have known that your action would jeopardize your job.

            Can you explain is it worth appealing I see nothing about unemployment law in this letter being applied?

            Thank you

          • Had you ever received a warning on this issue before? The decision sounds like NY believes you were expecting payment for those seven minutes. Were you? If the answer is no to both, I would appeal – you lose nothing by appealing. Many decisions are overturned on appeal. Too many people just walk away, but these decisions are not cast in stone. Generally, a one-time occurrence should not result in a denial. Further, NY is voiding wage credits from this employer should you be laid off again. That could become a problem. I say the appeal is worth the effort.

          • Danny Rowan

            I was working overtime up to the week before I got terminated and I got .82 hours of ot, we had a department meeting an email was sent out about no overtime as explained in above determination letter. Was I ever warned individually no I was not that I was just in the department meeting an in the email, but I got overtime after the email and meeting .82 hours. the next week I was terminated. Is that an opinion that determination or a law?

          • Not sure what you’re asking. Under the law, a “rules violation” IS misconduct. You violated a rule. You need to appeal the decision. One-time occurrence PRIOR TO a warning shouldn’t result in a misconduct charge, normally, but that is a discretionary judgment made by an ALJ at appeal and will override the “misconduct” for a rules violation.

            If you did this after the warning email, your position is less tenable. That said, ALJ’s overlook these matters all the time. But, you won’t know if you don’t try. Appeal, you have nothing to lose. You have to find a way to convey that punching in early was an oversight/reflexive action and not done to intentionally increase your earnings.

  • asdf34

    I tried to unsuccessfully claim my NY UI benefits from Greece. I got blocked by the system but was able to certify by using my US phone with US IP address. The NYS alleges that I tried to circumvent the system by claiming from overseas and wants me now to provide copies of my passport pages as proof of my travels. I entered Greece with my greek passport, so my US passport is spotless clean, no stamps. May I make the case that I was in fact in the States throughout the entire time and provide that as proof that I never left the US? I can explain that my account was flagged merely because I used my friend’s laptop, surely that could happen. Will they ask for further evidence or will my clean passport suffice to support my explanation and help restore my claim? Also, if I get caught pretending to have never left the US, what more could they do in addition to the 80-day forfeit penalty? In other words, do I have anything to lose? If I am already facing forfeiting my benefits in full, it might be worth trying to save them by lying I was in the US while claiming… I forgot to mention that I live in Florida but my past employer was a NY Co, why I collect UI in NY. So even if they ask me to appear in person in NY, I have a good case as to why I cant.

    • Your chicanery is exactly why GOP is so opposed to unemployment benefits and other safety nets for the deserving – because of the cheaters. Shame on you for being so dishonest as to even consider trying to defraud NY further by providing a different passport which does not reflect your actual travels.

      Circumventing is an automatic 80-day dq. NY always plays HARD BALL on out-of-country claims. You committed fraud. STOP IT.

      No, if you do nothing further, NY won’t come after you for criminal penalties.

      If you persist with your lies, you may need to appeal all the way to the BOR before NY will reverse its present 80-day dq., although submission of the false passport may shorten that process. A recent case took seven months to hear at the BOR level. And, yes, you could win.

      • asdf34

        Wouldnt I get the 80-day penalty regardless?

      • asdf34

        Why am I not deserving? I worked for a NY employer for nearly 6 years. It didnt matter that I was in Greece when I was paying my NY income taxes or UI but now that I am trying to get the help that by law I am entitled to and I very much need, it is a problem. Bottom line, NY is looking for ways to NOT pay deserving people by imposing all these arbitrary restrictions. I am looking for work both here and in the US, which is all that should matter. How is my situation different from everyone else here who tried to certify from abroad? A rigid rule may cost me all the money I need AND deserve. And if the Board rules in my favor, then it is not illegal.

        • Every other out-of-country claimant experiences EXACTLY what you have if they haven’t first notified NY before leaving the country. NY requires you notify them BEFORE leaving the country if you plan to search for work abroad. You didn’t do that which has created the situation you are in now. As far as NY is concerned, you were abroad on vacation.

          In your original post, you never said you were in Greece looking for work. If you can prove your contacts, etc., that may change the picture – but it will take an appeal. Out-of-country claims disputes normally take a very long time for NY to review and resolve.

          • asdf34

            I live in Greece as I am taking care of an ailing parent, I am not on vacation. And have been here since before I was even laid off. I didnt inform the Dept that I am not in NY precisely because I knew they are looking for ways to disqualify people. If it wasnt for these restrictions, I would try to game the system. And I am a US citizen and a US tax payer, why should I be treated differently merely because of my location? I dont like these games either but I do need to eat.

            So in your opinion, morals aside, I have a better chance of collecting my UI benefits
            -if I do nothing,
            -if I come clean and fight the 80-day ban, which will likely follow
            -if I try to pull this scenario off with the clean passport?

          • Taking care of an ailing parent renders you Unable and Unavailable in NY’s eyes – and the eyes of every state in this country with the exception of California and one or two other states which may have paid family leave benefits, in which case you apply for PFL until you are again able to resume work searches and resume unemployment benefits.

            This isn’t a NY issue. It is an unemployment eligibility issue. A condition for collecting benefits, aside from being unemployed, is that you are searching for and able to immediately accept work if offered. If you can verify that others are able to pick up the caretaking duties so you can work and you can prove you are continuing to search for work, then you will have satisfied the A&A requirement. The overseas location is a huge hurdle.

            If you do nothing, the 80-day dq stays.

            If you are honest about being in Greece and can prove your job searches, you may – repeat may – succeed in winning your benefits back at the BOR level. A very long process.

            If you dishonestly present a clean passport, NY may restore benefits within a month or two – or it may never respond to you at all. Many have experienced out-of-country claims with contradicting or conflicting evidence fall into NY’s black hole with no action whatsoever.

          • asdf34

            Thank you!

  • Jessica

    I’m currently collecting unemployment from NY, live in NJ. I have been contacted by a recruiter for a 3 month contract position in NYC, it also may be extended. Once this contract position has ended, will I be able to go back on my original claim?

    • Yes – provided your benefit year has not yet expired. If that occurs, reapply for a new claim when this job ends. If this is a temp agency offering the job, be sure to maintain contact w/agency after job ends via phone calls/emails asking for other work – or agency will accuse you of a quit. They are allowed to do this. Keep good records of these contacts.

  • Mezanka

    NYS blocked my UI benefits because I certified from overseas. I left the US two weeks ago but failed to inform the dept.

    I am a dual citizen living in Europe who has worked for a NY employer remotely. I am actively seeking employment, even though I am out of the US. I know NYS disallows the collection of benefits from overseas but is there an exception for dual citizens? I realize it is my fault for failing to inform them that I left the US to return to Europe but am unable to stay in the US merely to collect UI benefits.. So wondering what my options are to reinstate my benefits. Again, I am seeking employment and in my line of work my physical location is irrelevant.

    • There is no quick fix for your situation, I am sorry to say. NY plays very hard ball on out of country claiming. Once benefits have stopped because NY’s antifraud mechanisms detected an out-of-country ISP, expect no benefits until you have an appeal, another denial, and another final board of review appeal – at which you have a chance of getting your benefits. This process will take four months at least, possibly much longer.

      NYS will pay benefits for the day that you actually had a legitimate employment interview (that can result in legal employment) – even if out of the country – so long as you adhered 100% to the requirement they set out. There is nothing in NYS unemployment regulations which bar a person from collecting. The regs only discuss what you can not do.

      It also established the first rule of collecting to be notifying them in advance – which you did not do.

      Now, trying to get your status updated as a dual citizen out-of-country claimant searching overseas and benefits restored after the fact is near impossible unless you exhibit inordinate persistence. If you are willing to put forth the time and effort, you have very good chance of prevailing at the Board of Review level. Last case I read about similar to yours, claimant finally prevailed after seven months.

      You start by submitting your travel records and answering any Qs NY may have, and follow the process through to the end.

      • Mezanka

        Very helpful, much appreciated! So if I undestand correctly, I have likely forfeited the remainder of my benefits and likely will only get them back at the Board review level?

        BTW, While in Europe, do I continue to certify or hold off until I return to the State?

        [Ironically, I landed an interview with another NY employer, while in Europe, which my job search was rather unsuccessful during my stay in the US.]

        Thanks again for your input! <3

        • Yes, for all practical purposes, you are unlikely to get benefits restored until the BOR review.

          Make no further attempts to claim while abroad and wait until you return to the US. Future attempts to claim from abroad will be blocked. Know that if you try work-arounds such as changing proxy or using a phone with a US number, NY will recognize that and will accuse you of circumventing the system, which will result in an 80-day benefit disqualification which remains active for two years and will affect future claims going forward. So, yes, stop claiming until you return to the US.

          • Mezanka

            Thank you! ❤️ If they accuse me of circumventing the system, do I still have a chance at prevailing at the Board Review level?

          • Yes. It usually boils down to – NY doesn’t make a very good effort at proving your attempts at circumvention. If you’re lucky that one attempt won’t result in an 80-day dq. Wait for the letter.

          • Mezanka

            If I dont respond to the questionnaire and fail to submit the requested documents, may I still appeal their determination and get to the Board Review level?

          • Yes. However, you are not allowed to submit any evidence at the BOR level other than what has already been presented at appeal. So, at your appeal, include everything supporting your case.

          • Mezanka

            Very helpful, thank you. I want to see first what they will slap me with.

  • Heather

    I live in NY. My job of 8 1/2 years is relocating my dept from Nassau County to Queens. I live in Siffolk County about 35 miles away from the new location (about 2 hour drive with traffic each way) and we would have to pay a lot for parking as opposed to free parking now. If I resign and don’t move with them, would I be able to collect?

  • James brooks

    Hello, I left my job of 8 years after giving 2 weeks notice to take another job for career growth and advancement. During my time at this new job I was called into the office before my 90 days and told that their was some complaints about me. They were that I was whistling, talking to loud on the phone and people accused me of starring, though I don’t know who accused me. After the meeting I asked the hr Manager if that was a write up she said no it just was to diffuse the situation. A month later I was called into the office being told I was being terminated. When I asked why they said do remember that conversation we had in February I said yes well 2 more people complained about you starring at them and that it made them feel uncomfortable. I was also told that this is NYS and we can get rid of you for anything. Will I be able to claim unemployment benefits?

    • Previously answered at: – but here it is again.

      You will get unemployment. Apply for benefits. If NY asks why you were discharged, state you don’t know. Do not get into the staring/whistling issues. Employer may never bring them up.

      • James Brooks

        Daphne, I had sent an email to NYS DOL on April 26 due to not hearing anything, I did get a response back on April 27 but it seems contradicting in their response. Is this a normal response? They said 4-6 weeks does that 4-6 weeks start on April 3? I did put down the reasons why I did get let go on the initial Intake questionnaire when you first filed because it asked for it. Is their any more insight you can give me into this or advice?

        Email I sent to NYS DOL on 4/26: I filed for unemployment on April 3, 2017. The only information that I have gotten from NYS Department of Labor is how much I have made and what the payments will be.. My Claim still says it is in pending status. I was hoping I could get an update on my claim as I have heard no information. Thank you for your time and attention in this matter it is greatly appreciated..

        NYS DOL Response on 4/27: Good Morning, Your claim is on hold pending review because we have received information indicating that you have been fired or discharged. The review process typically takes 4-6 weeks to complete. Your benefits will be withheld during this process. We will contact you and your employer for additional information if we have not already done so. You must continue to certify each week to protect your rights to benefits. If you are found to be eligible, you will receive payment for each week you have certified for.Your claim is on hold pending review because we have received information indicating that you have voluntarily left your job. The review process typically takes 4-6 weeks to complete. Your benefits will be withheld during this process. We will contact you and your employer for additional information if we have not already done so. You must continue to certify each week to protect your rights to benefits. If you are found to be eligible, you will receive payment for each week you have certified for..

        • Response is boilerplate, not addressing you specifically, instead generically indicating two possible different reasons for the review – either a discharge for misconduct or a quit without cause. The 4-6 weeks should be from date you returned questionnaire. NY does its best to avoid appeals, so does read your responses carefully.

          • James brooks

            Daphne, Thank you for the response. Based on everything I have told you and and wrote in the comment box, do you still feel I will get unemployment? Is being accused of starring in which I have no idea who accused me a misconduct? Is leaving a job for a better one or one for more growth is that a reason to disqualify me?

          • Yes you should get benefits. No, staring is not misconduct – fits in the category of a “bad fit” for that particular work culture, but not misconduct.

            Leaving one job for a better one is generally not disqualifying if you can prove how the new job is materially substantially better. More growth is subjective, and may disqualify you.

            In your case, the quit doesn’t matter because you worked long enough at the new job to purge a quit without cause penalty. Quit w/o cause – NY requires you work at least five weeks in the new job and earn at least 5xWBA. Max NY WBA is $430/wk x 5 = $2,150. If you’ve worked five weeks and earned at least that, the quit won’t be an issue. NY may require paystubs as its database may not reflect your recent earnings.

          • James Brooks

            Daphne, I got a call today from a NYS DOL Claims examiner who gave me a deadline of when I need to call her back by. If I don’t make call she will make a determination about my claim. On these calls what are they actually looking for? How should I handle please advise?

          • Call her back and answer her questions honestly. Do not offer any information on the whistling/staring/loud talking. There is no reason to refuse benefits unless employer lies and accuses you of theft, insubordination, tardiness, etc. If they do, there is little you can do about that except appeal.

          • James Brooks

            What if she asks me questions about the whistling and starring, How di I proceed with that? My former employer the one of 8 years cant do anything about this right? To your other comment NYS did sent me a revised monetary letter with the money that I made in 2017. Are these phone calls because they are on the fence about their decision or looking for something else?

          • Employer won’t mention whisting/staring – it is a stupid issue – and not relevant to misconduct. I already told you the earlier quit is irrelevant. Phone calls are standard in a discharge. Since there was no misconduct, you also could not call her back at all and avoid any questions.

            No further Qs on this issue, please. Let us know when you get your decision.

  • V


    If you are receiving UI in NY, and the only job you can find is out of State, like Florida. I know you are not required to accept it because it’s beyond the commuting distance requirement. But what if I DO move to FL and accept this job? Will NYS be notified that I’m working out of state and stop my benefits? Am I able to keep claiming my NYS UI until it runs out (26 weeks) ?

    Just curious, I haven’t even interviewed yet but not getting many job responses in state right now.

    • You certainly can move to FL and continue to claim NY benefits while you are unemployed or working part-time, but you cannot work anywhere for wages and not report that time and wages when you certify for weekly benefits. To do so is to commit fraud. Sooner or later, NY’s antifraud systems will detect this when wages for your SSN are reported to the IRS – no matter where earned.

  • Joanna Merry

    I lived and worked in N.Y. up until December 31st 2016. I moved down to Maryland at the first off the year to live with my significant other as he pursued his career down here. I started my new job on January 23rd and shortly after I had settled in and had wrapped up training, the center I was working for announced that they were closing. Our last day of work for our department was on the 17th of April. I have found a new job that starts one the 1st of May. I am amidst taking care of all tests and checks for this new job, some of these hurdles cost money and money is tight between us as is. What I am wondering is if I am eligible for Unemployment Insurance for this small gap of time. Just somethng to help until I receive my first biweekly check in mid May. Thanks for all of your help.

    • Yes, you have eligibility. NY has an unpaid waiting week. If you apply this week, at best you will receive benefits only for week ending 4/29. It will take NY at least four weeks to process the claim. You’ll probably have the paycheck from the new job well before NY is in any position to pay you.

  • Georgian

    I currently reside in Ohio and have been working for the same company over 10 yrs. My husband accepted a job in NY and I need to relocate. I am planing to give my employer a notice of leaving. If I do not find a job in NY within a month or two, am I eligible for unemployment in either state due to my husband job relocation?

  • Nancy

    My daughter was recently fired from her part time job after 6 months is employemnt. She was called over the phone and basically told that she is a hard worker and a nice person but the other workers in the boutique where not comfortable with her as she was not laid back enough. Could she apply for unemployment and is this a legitimate way of informing an employee that they are fired and is this a legitimate reason to fire someone?

    • Yes, she can and should apply for unemployment, she is eligible.

      Yes, this is a legitimate way to terminate – terminations take many forms – some very subtle.

      Yes, employer can discharge her for any reason or no reason at all.

      • Nancy

        Thank you. I have another question. Can an employer pay less than the minimal wage during the training period while they are trying to figure out what workers hourly pay would be. My daughter worked the first 4 days for 8 hours and on her pay day she was told that her hourly pay would be 12/per hour. She was then told that during her training period she will be paid half ($6/per hour). So basically whatever the owners of the boutique decide to pay an employee as their regular hour rate, they pay 1/2 during training period and only advise the worker on the amount in their pay day, not in advance. Is that legal?

  • Ness

    I received a message that my unemployment insurance has ended( 26 weeks). I had to wait for 3month before I received my benefits due to court hearing to overturn the initial decision to deny them. During the 3 months that I waited , I fell a bit behind on bills but its almost back to normal. I have been in banking for many years so I’m surprised that I’ve been able to land a full-time job in that field especially since I always got the job on the 1st interview. The banking world is going through a lot of re-structuring since people are coming forward with claims of mistreatment and unfair practices, so I’ve tried elsewhere and some places with lower pay to be able to support myself once again but i’m still not having any luck. I’ve never been unemployed this long and now the benefits have ended so I’m very worried. What can I do to receive an extension?
    Summer is near and I’m hoping that I can find steady work soon.

    • Sorry to say, extensions are no longer available for unemployment benefits. Congress discontinued that program in 2013. You should contact your NY social services for information on financial help available for people in your situation.

  • paulin

    I was a full time employee from 2006-2011. I returned after a 2-year break in Oct 2013 as a part time employee working 5 days a week at 4-6 hours a day. Recently the company relocated and the commute is too far for me. I have been working from home since the move and it’s proving to be somewhat unfeasible for the company and me.

    I have a feeling that the company is considering letting me go at this point and i have also thought about resigning to look for something else.

    Will I be eligible to file for unemployment?

    • The job relocation can be considered a material change to the employment contract. Read 4.b., here:

      So, generally, yes, you would be eligible for benefits had you quit immediately when the job location changed. Quits are harder to justify than terminations, although a relocation beyond what the state considers a reasonable drive is considered good cause. The longer you do this commute, however, the dimmer view NY may take of the quit because of it. NY states two months or more under the new conditions constitute your acceptance of it.

      Read 1722, here – in particular 4-10:

      So, if you’ve been doing this commute more than two months, there is no guarantee of benefits if you quit – even if you can demonstrate financial hardship.

      If you are discharged, the pendulum swings in your favor. Unless employer alleges misconduct, you will get benefits without a problem.

    • T

      I filed a claim on 2/6 of this year. It’s 4/24 (10 weeks later) and they still have not released the payments. They say it’s due to my last employer paying me on 1099, because they have not been paying to the unemployment fund for me (I’m sure that my former employer was not compliant). I have faxed them over proof that I was an employee and not an independent contractor.
      Every time I call (at least once a week) they tell me that the claim is being investigated and there is no time frame to get an answer).
      I am desperate at this point and would like to know my options. Should I try and hire a lawyer? What are my options? Please help!

      • Wage investigations take time. Normal processing time for a claim, best case, is four weeks. A wage investigation can easily add two months, or more, to that timeframe. An atty won’t be able to help, but an email to your elected state representative might force NY to accelerate its investigation/decision. Find yours, here:

        Reps are very effective at motivating the states to act.

  • Carmen Corniel

    Hi I was laid off on sept 2015 , she BCE than I did all my claim which e see oct 2016, my boss told me to re-apply for unemployment after April 2, 2017 is it possible since I haven’t worked since sept 2015?

  • Diamond

    I want to take a leave of absence from my job for a few months due to child care issues. Can I apply for unemployment?

  • MzV

    I work for the City of New York. My job title requires me to have a valid drivers license. My license has been revoked for one year and I will be suspended from my job. Will I be eligible to apply for unemployment and receive benefits?

  • John Smith

    I work for a NY based company, and my contract is set to expire on the May 1st. They are interested in extending my contract (it’s a full time-position directly through my employer, just “Contract Term” so they can let go of people before they work there 3 years in a row) to December, the limit before I hit that 3-year cut-off, however they haven’t finished the paperwork yet to finalize the extension (it’s all verbal at the moment). If I tell them to not extend my contract, will I be able to collect unemployment, or will this count as voluntarily leaving my job?

  • Linda

    I am on a seasonal lay-off from my job. The company offered me less money to come back to a somewhat different position. I did not accept the job and am still in negotiations with them and still considered on lay-off. In the meantime I took another job at a lesser wage which was supposed to eventually be full-time with the intention of it replacing the full-time job I was laid off from. Since taking it two weeks ago I have only worked 2 days one week and three days the other. Although my wages one of the two weeks exceeded my IU pay I continued to put my claim in. Now, the new job is not working out on either side and I’m concerned I may loose it. Will I also loose my uninsurance benefits?

    • Provided employer doesn’t allege misconduct, no, you won’t lose benefits if you are discharged. Employer may say “not a good fit” – which shouldn’t cause an issue. Or, employer may say poor performance, which NY will need to investigate to determine if this poor performance was intentional – which is a hard thing to prove. If an investigation is necessary, future payment of benefits may be delayed for a few weeks.

  • Diane Dove

    Question: I have a valid claim open that started in Dec 2016, when our crew was temporarily laid off for 2 weeks.

    When my assignment ended, I left the country and notified the NY claims department via email, as instructed, and did not claim during my absence.

    Upon my return, I forgot to claim benefits for the following 2 weeks and did not notify them that I had returned (which I did not know I had to do since I notified them of my return date in the notification email).

    I have been claiming benefits regularly since the 2 weeks after missing/ returning (4 weeks now), but my account is still on hold. I don’t care about receiving benefits for the 2 weeks I missed, since it was my error, but can I continue receiving benefits for the weeks I have claimed afterwards? I am and have been actively looking for work.

    • Call NY. Someone needs to talk to you about the break in claim, notwithstanding your emails sent. This is just a routine procedure, but NY won’t be able to pay you unless you talk with someone. Reopening a claim shouldn’t take more than two weeks and does require you speak with someone.

      • Diane Dove

        I called and spoke with someone today, but they directed me back to their website page to click on the “envelope” in the top right hand corner to fill out a questionnaire, which I can’t find…?

        One more question for clarification:
        I have a valid open claim and was laid off permanently. After being laid off, I didn’t claim any benefits until 2 weeks (the weeks I forgot) after I was back from being out of the country (about 4 weeks after permanently being laid off), so I didn’t restart my claim until then. Is that grounds for denying my remaining benefits?

        Also- thank you so much. This site has the most useful and informative unemployment info on it. So much appreciation to you for what you do.

        • There is absolutely no penalty or cancellation of a claim just because you stopped claiming benefits. This has nothing to do with the delay in NY paying you.

          FYI, normally, NY mails its questionnaires – it doesn’t tell you to complete these online. Sounds like whomever you talked with today either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or was just too lazy to be bothered. NY is one of the better states for timely processing. This shouldn’t be happening.

          Call NY again on Monday – and ask why you’ve heard nothing and tell them you can’t access the online questionnaire.

          If you are still obstructed, email your state representative. Explain what has happened thus far. Find yours, here:

          State reps are quite effective at breaking the claim logjam.

  • Syl


    I lost my job (in New York) but I don’t have a NY ID ( I do have a New Jersey ID). Can I still claim unemployment benefits from New York Department of Labor?

  • Steven Pena

    Im on long term medical leave and I was told since my employer in NYC does not qualify under FMLA (under 50 employees) my medical leave could be an act of AWOL. My employer has my doctors note but since its a private company without a human resources dept., it seems my employer is trying to screw me. Can I apply for temporary disablitiy or unemployment. Need help.

  • MattRx

    It’s been about 4 weeks since I applied for UI in NY. I have received nothing from them and the claim is pending when I check online. Last time I did this I received the monetary determination within a week or two at the most (granted it’s been almost 10 years). Worth a call or is this normal these days?

    • Absolutely, follow up. No communication after four weeks is not at all usual for NY.

      • MattRx

        Thanks for your reply. After finally being able to get through I was told it was still pending because the employer (or rather peo in this case) had said it was a discharge and is being investigated. That is the extent of info I was able to get from the rep. This was still news to me as the employer had lost a major customer and I thought I was one of the casualties. So, I’m assuming they will call that misrepresentation which I don’t plan to argue as it looks like I should have an offer within a week or two. Still, this claim was filed on 2/13 – to not have received any communication at all to date is pretty bad.

  • Sam

    Great source of info on unemployment.
    I have owned a business for 20 years with 18 employees. I collect a monthly paycheck and pay UI for myself and employees. We recently lost our lease and will be closing in June. I intend to apply for UI in October assuming the quarters to be examined are January-March and April-June. Would there be a problem for me to increase my monthly wage for the final quarter such that I would be eligible for the maximum $420? Also, I’m not clear about the rule that “total base period wages were no less than one and a half times the wages paid in the highest quarter”. What if that is not the case? I assume the base period is 4 quarters and if I pay myself the maximum for 2 quarters that requirement would be satisfied.
    Also, I am considering putting my spouse on the payroll for 2 quarters to help with the business shutdown, also at a salary to permit the maximum UI benefit amount. There does not seem to be any rule violation regarding that.
    Of course we both would be available for other employment after our business closes.

    • “Would there be a problem for me to increase my monthly wage for the final quarter such that I would be eligible for the maximum $420?”

      That would work. However, NY will not use that last quarter in your base period unless you request it. See p.8, here:

      “total base period wages were no less than one and a half times the wages paid in the highest quarter”. I assume the base period is 4 quarters and if I pay myself the maximum for 2 quarters that requirement would be satisfied.”


      “Also, I am considering putting my spouse on the payroll for 2 quarters to help with the business shutdown, also at a salary to permit the maximum UI benefit amount. There does not seem to be any rule violation regarding that.”

      That is correct.

      • Sam

        Thank you for that information and the prompt reply.
        One more question – At what point in the application process do I request use of the Alternate Base Period instead of the Basic Base Period? Is there a place on the application form or do I need to contact someone in the UI office?

  • Jenny

    OK, one more… can you clarify the “excluding earnings from self-employment, did you earn more than $430” question on the weekly certification form?

    If I take a freelance/1099 project that I can do in 1 day, but pays $500, how do I answer? I obviously would report that I worked 1 day, but if I “exclude” earnings from self-employment as instructed in the question, I did not make more than $430. I made nothing. Only if I *include* earnings from self-employment—which they’re specifically telling me NOT to do—did I make more than $430.

    I’ve never understood this. The question is worded to say that self-employment income doesn’t count when reporting how much you made that week, so you should exclude it when answering. Should I? Thanks!

    • NY handbook states you report “work” from self-employment, but the claim form specifically excludes earnings. Per NY:

      What is considered work?
      Any activity that brings in or may bring in income at any time must be reported as work, even if it is only an hour or less. This includes training, as well as full-time, part-time, seasonal, per diem, probationary, occasional, temporary or permanent work. Even if you were not paid, you must report as work:

      • All activity related to self-employment or freelance work, including but not limited to: writing checks, taking phone calls, writing or responding to business correspondence, or any other tasks associated with starting or continuing a business;

      • On-call or as-needed work;

      NY also states you are not eligible for any week in which you earn “wages” equal to the maximum benefit. It would appear from that language, NY does not consider SE income “wages.” Technically, this is correct, as you are not an employee earning “wages.” Which means even though you may have SE earnings in excess of NY’s maximum benefit in one day, the wage test doesn’t apply.

      I would answer the question, exactly as asked. It appears, NY gives SE people a break on the earnings cap, which is a good thing for you because you will get 75% of your weekly benefit if you earn all your money in one day.

      You should try to verify this with NY, however – and talk to more than one rep, as the answers are not always consistent.

      • Jenny

        They really make that part very confusing, don’t they? But to answer the questions as asked, I agree,.. I should report I worked 1 day, and *excluding* earnings from self-employment, NO, I did not make more than $430.

        Thanks again!

  • A Camello

    I worked from April 2014 to May 2015 at my job. After being let go I was then approved for Unemployment insurance, I was receiveing that 425 a week. After about 3 months of claiming my benefits my father surprised my family with a trip to Europe, I was out of the country for 3 weeks. Once I left for this trip I stopped recieveing my benefits. It is now Feb 2017 and I still have yet to find work in my field. I was recently told to reopen my claim…..

    Is this a possibility? I have only received 3 months(12 weeks) of benefits. I have not worked a day since I was let go in May 2015.
    Am I still eligible to receive benefits?

    • No. If you have not worked between October 2015 and December 2016 – the earnings period NY would be examining today – you are ineligible for another claim at this time.

      The May 2015 claim expired May 2016 along with any unclaimed benefits. You could have reopened that claim upon your return from Europe in Sept/Oct. 2015 and collected what remained of your benefits until exhausted or until 5/2016, whichever occurred first.

  • Cynthia

    If I’m a full time employee and I’m only getting scheduled for 18hrs a week can I file for unemployment for the remainder hours I’m lacking??

  • Donald Samco

    My son is recently unemployed and was injured in an accident an unable to work for at least 6 weeks. He has yet to file for unemployment because he will be unable to work until that time. Will he be able to file after this time period?

    • The job loss is separate and apart from disability. If he was fired or laid off or quit for medical reasons, regardless of disability, he should file an unemployment benefit claim now. It will take NY several weeks to process the claim. NY won’t pay while he is disabled, but it should establish the claim – and the claim will then be in place to REOPEN when he is able and available.

      Meanwhile, unless he is already collecting disability benefits in some form, he should investigate this:

      NY requires its employers to pay into a disability fund, so he may have eligibility for benefits under that program, as well.

  • Jaquiese

    I currently hold a position at a Company where I’ve worked for 6 years. The job that I hold will no longer be available in our location within the next 2 weeks. I was offered another position in which my raises will not be transferred and I will be taking a pay cut. Will I still be able to collect unemployment if I decline the job offering?

  • Tricia

    I was informed early January 2017 that my current position will be relocated to Raleigh, NC. I currently reside in NY. If I choose to not relocate, my position will be terminated on April 5th. I have decided that the move from NY to NC is not possible. Will I be eligible for NYS unemployment benefits? Thank you.

  • Jenny

    I have been claiming benefits in NY since mid-January. I’ve been offered very part-time (1 day a week) work on a freelance/1099 basis. If I take it and say when I certify for the week that I worked 1 day, does this open an entire can of worms that I’ll have to deal with every week? Like will they delay my benefits, mail out a form, wait for me to return it, contact the client, etc. every single week? Or will they just accept that I worked a day and cut my benefits by 25%? (They really do make it hard for New Yorkers to take something small that might lead to something bigger. It’s not worth all the hassle.)

    • NY does not investigate new work. You should be able to report the hours, etc. on your weekly online claim forms without issue. The delay occurs when the work stops. NY will investigate why you are no longer reporting income and may query the employer on the separation and may suspend benefits during this time.

      Since this is 1099, a simple explanation from you that this was a short-term one-day a week free-lance SE gig, should preclude NY going further. You are not required to accept 1099 work so NY should have no further interest in why it ends. No longer working W-2 will definitely require an investigation. Generally, NY is reasonable and timely on these issues.

      • Jenny

        Thank you so much, Daphne! I just couldn’t see going through that song and dance every week. It would be embarrassing for me, and also a pain for the client (and possibly preclude getting more work). If I could just say I worked one day and get $107 less in benefits with no drama, that would suit me fine. Thanks again for all you do here. 🙂

  • jenna

    I became unemployed on Dec 26th due to no fault of my own. (Never been written up or had any disciplinary actions) I applied for benefits right away. Now 6 weeks later it is still pending due to eligibility issue. (I guess employer is trying to contest) I call all the time to get answer and they just tell me it’s pending. This week I finally had someone transfer me to my representative to leave a message and a week later still no decision and no return phone call. Is there anything or anyone I can call or write to so thay my case can be taken care of? I have never heard of anyone waiting this long for payment let alone decision. Thank you

    • NY is normally pretty effective in its claim handling. Since it’s now been six weeks and you are getting nowhere, immediately email your state representative. Find yours, here:

      Reps are every effective at getting stalled claims on track.

      • Stacia

        I don’t know where to ask my own question.. I live in NY and have worked for this company for 22 months.. I became pregnant in August and have been sick on & off since. Ever since my job caught wind that I was pregnant, every call out (even having a doctors note) they were writing me up. I am currently on unpaid administrative leave (& currently 6 months pregnant) but I am pending termination. Will I still qualify for benefits?

        • Generally, with correct medical documentation, the answer is yes. However, if you are unable to work NY won’t pay benefits. Apply for unemployment benefits and continue to claim as long as you are able to search for and accept work.

          Also, immediately investigate NY state-mandated disability which covers pregnancies. Read more, here:

          That program should pay benefits prior to and after delivery. Once you are on your feet, you can resume benefits from the unemployment claim.

      • Greg Meredith

        not sure how to post a question. I am having no luck with any answers. I live in NJ but collect NY unemployement. Back on Feb 5 I was doing my weekly claim and my computers homepage went to google Japan. My claim was denied. I sent my passport to prove I was not in Japan. Nothing is still resolved. I do my claims every week but have not got paid in two months!! any suggestio

        • What does NY say when you call them?? If you get no satisfaction, write the elected state representative for the employer you last worked for. Explain your situation. He will contact NY, NY will contact you. Find NY state reps, here:

          NY plays hardball – big time – on out-of-country claims. It’s not an easy lift once you get ensnared in their antifraud mechanisms.

  • Joan

    I have been employed at one company in NY for 5 years (although I do live in NJ) and my current employer is closing her business. She does happen to have another business with a separate LLC and she is offering me a month of temporary work at my same salary with this other company. I am concerned that if I take the month of work and then collect unemployment afterwards that this temporary work will tarnish my work history. I would be officially moving to this new company as of Feb. 1st and then finishing up the first week of March so finding a speedy answer to this predicament is much appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • Why would one-month’s add’l work for the same employer/different entity be a negative? You need a good cause reason to refuse this job offer. Is it unsuitable as to job duties??? Otherwise, file for unemployment now against the current employer, let NY begin processing the claim. Begin the temp work with the new LLC. By the time that job ends, NY should be in a position to pay benefits on the claim.

  • Jenn

    Hello, my company has eliminated my full time position for budgetary reasons instead and created a position i am supposed to do that is only 10 to 15 hours and very entry level. (I have been I marketing 10 years). If I do this it will look like a demotion on my resume, and obviously a big pay cut for so many fewer hours. If I quit because my original position was eliminated may I qualify for unemployment while I search for a more suitable job?

    • Yes. Your employer has effectively discharged you from your full-time position and offered you an unsuitable part-time position with material changes in income and job duties. Address the grievance with your employer requesting a return to your original job. If employer refuses, you quit. Do this immediately. If you continue to work in this position, you will have changed the definition of what is “suitable” employment for you.

  • Theresa

    I have been a license real estate agent in NY for 10 years. But I am not practicing. I have my license affiliated with a brokerage (because you have to in order to remain licensed). I haven’t sold a house in 6 years. I also have a typical “Jane Doe Realtor” website. I have been recently laid off from my real job at a school and applied for unemployment. I didn’t mention the real estate license since its not relevant. I did ask a lawyer friend his advice about this and said having a professional license doesn’t disqualify me, as long as Im available to work.Can you also confirm this? My fear is that they could say having a website means Im working it.
    Also, in a different question; what if I decided to sell real estate part time, as in a couple of days a week? Is that allowed? Thanks so much!

    • A real estate license is not disqualifying. Yes, you can work a couple of days a week in real estate but know that for every “day” or part of a day you work – even if you don’t earn any money, which you won’t b/c real estate is commission sales and it takes months to close a transaction – you will lose 25% of your benefit for each “day” worked. Work of any kind – whether paid or not – is considered work and you must report the “days” on which you “work.”

      NY explains how benefits are calculated when you “work” on p. 19, here:

  • Jeff


    I lost my place in NYC and don’t have the credit score or means of securing a new place because of extremely high rents and commuting costs. I have been looking and applying for months. I am moving in with my mother in Connecticut and the commute would be about 3 hours both ways and over $500 a month in expenses. Do I have good cause to quit and receive unemployment.

    • The answer is maybe. A NY decision has said this:

      “Claimant is required to demonstrate “why her family could not have continued to reside in the apartment they were living in or why they could not have obtained affordable housing elsewhere in the vicinity.

      “If claimant raises the issue of the affordability of housing with reduced income, both the possibility of remaining in the present domicile or moving to less expensive living quarters should be explored.”

      If you can present compelling evidence, NY should approve – although you may need to appeal to get there.

  • cory

    i moved to SC last year, but i still come back to ny to work with my union when there is work for me. i also keep a job in SC that doesnt pay very well, but keeps me busy. most of my income comes from ny. how/where do i collect unemployment when i am splitting time between the two places ?

  • Karin Scott

    In Feb 2016 I went on UI after restructuring, until 5/27/16 when I went back to work full time. Unfortunately the new company also went under that, and I lost my job on 11/18/16. I did not make as much as my last job (from 2008-2015). After my anniversary date in February, can I refile a new claim? I’m concerned about the earnings requirements. Seems so unfair in upstate NY where there are no good jobs anymore!

    • Yes, you can file a new claim in February. Minimum earnings in NY for a 2nd year claim are only 10x the weekly benefit amount of your first claim. If your benefit was $420/wk, all you needed to earn between 2/16-2/17 is $4,200, which you have surely done.

      If your first claim has a base year of October 2014-Sept. 2015, chances are there is one good quarter in the LAG (unused earnings 10/15-2/16) to provide a second claim as good as the first. NY takes 1/26 of your high quarter wages – not necessarily your most recent earnings – to determine the weekly benefit – not to exceed $430, the new WBA for 2017 claims.

      The other qualifier will be:

      The total wages paid to you must be at least 1.5 times the amount paid to you in your high quarter. Your high quarter is the quarter of your base period in which you were paid the most money. Exception: If your high quarter wages were $9,460 or more, you must have been paid at least $4,730 (half of $9,460) total in the other three quarters of your base period.

      • Example: Your high quarter wages were $4,000. You must have been paid at least $6,000 ($4,000 x 1.5 = $6,000) total for all four quarters of your base period.

  • Natalie

    My job is moving to another state in early Feb and they didn’t tell us until the first week of Jan. What are my rights as an employee who wasn’t given enough notice to plan. Will i be eligible for unemployment.

    • Yes, you are eligible provided (1) employer has not offered you a job at the new location or (2) if they have, the commute to the new work location is materially greater than the one you have now, travel to which would create a financial or other hardship.

  • Galo

    I’m getting out of the military in march 31 and headed back to NY from California .. when should I apply and is there any special paper work that I need to submit?

    • Applying right out of the military, you can choose from either the state you actually reside in, the state where you were discharged, or the state listed as your home state when you enlisted.

      In your case, immediately upon discharge, you should apply in California. CA’s benefit is $450/wk. v. NY’s $430/wk. Further, CA’s partial benefit formula is much better. If you work part-time, 75% of your earnings are deducted from your benefit, whereas in NY you lose 25% of your benefit for every day, or part of a day, you work, regardless of earnings.

      CA will want your DD214.

  • Jon C. Coyle

    I am expecting to be laid off February 15. However I am looking at a PT seasonal job that is only 3 days a week/20 hours that would last 6 months.

    Am I still able to collect the $430 from unemployment plus whatever I make from this PT job?

    Or will I lose some of that $430 if I earn money during that time.

    Also if I do lost some of that $430, can I still file for longer than the 26 weeks until I hit my cap of WBA allowed for a year?

    • Yes, you can collect unemployment from NY and still work. However, NY will reduce your benefit by 25% for each day or part of a day you work, not dollars earned. Which means if you work 3 days and are eligible for $430, NY will reduce your benefit by $322.50 ($107.50×3) and will pay you only $107.50, and will deduct $107.50 from the total monetary award of the claim.

      No, you don’t lose your benefit if you work. Benefits in NY are paid by dollars remaining in the original monetary award of the claim, not by weeks. Yes you can file for longer than 26 weeks until you’ve exhausted your entire monetary award, or your benefit year expires, whichever occurs first.

  • Mary

    I’m moving to Ohio in July 2017. My husband moved out there in July 2016 for a job. I stayed back as we had a senior in high school. I’d like to put in my notice in February with an end date in June, so they have time to find a replacement and I can train them. What if they decide to let me go early. Will I qualify for benefits?

    • Yes, you qualify. Employers often discharge people prior to their actual quit dates. NY has automatically granted them an entire claim – not just for period between discharge date and notice date. You are also eligible for trailing spouse benefits in NY b/c you are leaving to follow your husband. Normally, that would be the basis of your claim once you do quit.

      You should be fine.

      • Mary

        Huge relief! I have a lot of respect for my boss, so I’d like to giver her plenty of notice, but uppermanagement may have other plans. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

  • Sunny

    Question on eligibility for New Jersey UI benefits … since:

    1) my work for almost 2 years ending in Dec, 2015 was in NYC, and
    2) my contract work from April – July 2016 was also in NYC, and
    3) my Sep 2016 – Jan 2017 was with an NJ firm

    Wouldn’t my “first 4 of 5 base pay pay quarters” be in NYC — such that my most recent 4 months with NJ (my 5th and last quarter) may not be counted as base pay for NJ unemployment? In this case, would NJ reject my claim with them? Your thoughts?

    • Don’t worry about it. Already discussed earlier, to-wit:

      “NJ has THREE base periods – it can take wages to date of discharge, if necessary to qualify you. Chances are it will be using wages Jan.-Dec. 2016.

      “Be aware NJ’s initial calculation of benefit may not include earnings through 12/31/2016 as employer may not have, as yet, reported those wages. In this event, you will need to provide NJ paystubs/proof of earnings.”

  • Sunny

    For my situation below, 1) is it better for me to claim unemployment insurance benefits in New Jersey (over New York), and 2) will I be provided back benefits — as of my first day of unemployment – Monday, Jan 9?

    (Today is Friday, Jan 20 and I’ve been unsuccessful getting through any of the 4 NJ phone lines despite hours of continuous attempts … I don’t know how much longer it will take for me to get through and if I’m even eligible for New Jersey coverage based on my timeline working there — see below).

    I live in New York and was laid off from a New Jersey firm 1st week of 2017 — after working there from Sep 2016 – Jan 6 2017 (about 4 months). Before that I had contract work from Apr – July, 2016. Previously, I was separated from my firm as of Dec 2015, when I turned down relocation to another state (I worked with that firm for almost 2 years).

    I can’t afford to give up more weeks of unemployment benefits if I can’t get through the phone lines to NJ, while I’m not filing in NY (because I can only file in one state). A rep. from the NY DOL advised me to file with NJ because I worked in NJ for the last 4 months + NJ offers higher benefits.

    Really appreciate advice from those with knowledge in this forum!

    • NJ is way better than NY. You do not want a NY claim and probably aren’t qualified for one. Living in NY does not qualify you for benefits in NY. It is what you have earned in NY and if those wages were reported to NY and FUTA tax paid to NY on those wages by your employer.

      You are eligible for NJ. You apply online in NJ.

      File that claim online today, or tomorrow latest. You do NOT need to talk to a rep. NJ has THREE base periods – it can take wages to date of discharge, if necessary to qualify you. Chances are it will be using wages Jan.-Dec. 2016. Be aware NJ’s initial calculation of benefit may not include earnings through 12/31/2016 as employer may not have, as yet, reported those wages. In this event, you will need to provide NJ paystubs/proof of earnings.

      NJ pays 60% of average weekly wage up to $677 v. NY @ $430. Further, NY has an unpaid waiting week, NJ does not. In addition, should you find part-time work while collecting, NJ’s partial benefit rate allows you to keep 20% of your benefit before it deducts wages whereas NY reduces your benefit 25% for any day or PART of a day worked regardless of what you’ve earned.

      In every state, benefit eligibility begins the week you file – not when you were discharged. No matter in which state you apply, expect a processing time of three-four weeks. If yours was a clean job loss with no issue w/employer, NJ may actually be in a position to pay you within three weeks – benefits for weeks ending 1/21, 1/28, 2/4 – if you apply online today, or tomorrow latest.

      You can calculate your benefit, here:

      If need be, that “contract” work if paid on 1099 and not included in your base period can be reclassified to improve the benefit. Once you get your Notice of Monetary Award you provide NJ proof of earnings and ask NJ to reclassify the wages. NJ would be doing a wage investigation in that case. Most contract 1099 work falls under the W-2 category when examined carefully, so consider that avenue as well.

      • Sunny


        Thank you very much for your kind and thorough advice above. But per the re-posting (after your answer … sorry, we crossed), my work for almost 2 years ending in Dec, 2015 was in NYC, and my contract work from April – July 2016 was also in NYC. This contract work may constitute a W-2 because it’s a 3rd party payroll administrator for a consulting firm that I worked for (I received health benefits + 401 (k) like a regular employee. Sep 2016 – Jan 2017 was with an NJ firm.

        Many thanks again, especially on a Friday evening

        • If you earned $8,400 in NJ, you are eligible in NJ. You still apply online tonight in NJ. Get that app in – b/c NJ will pay for this week if you file before midnight Saturday. Do this now. Next week you can try to call or visit a NJ office to inform them you want that claim amended to include NY wages. If you got benefits, those are W-2 wages and will appear in NY’s database.

          • Sunny

            Dear Daphne,

            Thank you! I did apply online this past Tuesday evening (after I got advice from the NY DOL rep). Unfortunately, once I hit submit on, it said that I needed to call to speak to an NJ rep to complete the application for a new claim — I’m not sure, but I think the reasons were because I didn’t meet the criteria of: 1) physically living in NJ, and 2) working in only NJ within the last 18 months — both were cited at the top of this page (which apparently didn’t provide any guidelines for “Combined Wage Claims” in more than one state.) The earning of $8,400 you cited above isn’t an issue.

            Two additional questions, if I may — 1) What would be the address of an NJ office I can visit, that’s reachable by public transportation (I still have a monthly pass to Newark I’ve only used for a week), 2) As outlined in the NJ page of this website, Call Centers are routed by SSN, so for mine ending with 4-6 would be Tuesday, AND, because I live out of state in NY, the only tel # I should call = 888-795-6672 (and not the Union City number for Newark)?

            Again, thank you so much for reviewing and answering this — you’re a life safer!!!

          • 1. NJ career centers listed, here:

            2. Don’t be “by the book” on the numbers you use. Use any number – anything to get you through. Any rep can handle your claim. Doesn’t matter where they’re located.

            Read this:


          • Sunny

            Thank you, Daphne! I will try your suggestions. You’re an incredible advisor. Whether you’re a paid staff or volunteer, your responsiveness and kindness will never be forgotten! Our heartfelt thanks and great weekend!

  • TL

    Hi. I was notified on 1/19/17 that I’d be let go and informed I’d be on the payroll until 2/3/17 and I also will receive two weeks severance pay. When should I apply for benefits?

    Also, is it possible to get benefits in NYS even if I do not have a NYS driver’s license or ID? We don’t have cars and have never driven here. Thx.


  • Evan

    Hi there. I was released from my job on Jan 11 (wednesday). I waited to file a claim for unemployment (today), but i entered honestly and said I worked a day as a freelancer this past Monday jan 16 (where I didn’t make more than 430). When I submitted the claim, it told me that it couldn’t be processed since I worked Monday but my last day of my job was Jan 11. Can’t I receive partial payout even though it’s my first week making a claim? So confused by this whole thing- I’ve received partial benefits in the past when I lost a job 6-7 years ago. Is it because you can’t work at all during your first week of UI?

    • If you did free-lance one-off 1099 work for one day after your discharge, you have effectively eliminated your rights to an unemployment claim on the previous job. Claim eligibility is based on the most recent separation. 1099 work is not eligible for benefits.

      If the free-lance work is paid on W-2, then you would be filing a claim on that most recent separation and listing that as your last employer.

  • Robin

    Hi there! In April of 2016 I was laid off from a job I had for 8 years and I collected unemployment for approximately 18 weeks until starting a new job. Unfortunately, I was let go for downsizing on Friday and when I went onto the NYS website this week to file a new claim I wasn’t given the option to do so as there was still an open, valid claim from my previous unemployment. My question is, do I have to finish out that open claim from the previous employer before filing a new one for this employer?? Since it’s been less that 1 calendar year but two different years (2016 & 2017) do my benefits re-up for the new employment that I did have?? I meet the eligibility you have listed above for time and money needed to qualify for benefits. Calling the state’s hotline was no help! Thanks!

  • Brian O'Neill

    I work for a New Jersey Company I am a Union Construction Worker laid off 12/23 /2016 . When I went to apply for NJ UI the instructions stated that if you commuted in to NY you should file in NY. So I did and NY has declined because wages were not reported to them. I then applied to NJ it has been almost 4 weeks and ther is no reply. Please advise do I have a legitimate claim in either state?

    • Yes, you have a legitimate claim in one of those states. Chances are if you work for a NJ company, your wages were reported to NJ – which provides a much better benefit than NY, so let’s hope that’s what your employer did. You may need to provide paystubs. So keep all of them and your W2. Employers often don’t report wages on a timely basis.

      When you applied in NJ, NJ should have immediately given you some indication of a benefit based on wages in its database. Did they?

      • Brian O'Neill

        No they have not responded at all there web site and phone system do not respond to claim status

        • If your employer has been reporting your wages to NJ, it should also have been deducting NJ UI taxes from your pay. This is a very small amount, but all NJ employees are required to pay it. If this is the case, then you should be eligible in NJ.

          However, not all employers report wages timely or do what they should on taxes. So, you would need to provide NJ evidence via paystubs/W2s.

          I assume the website at least has a record of your application?? NJ is usually responsive. Normally, when a claim is filed, you get immediate feedback online on your monetary eligibility based on wages in its system.

          At this point, you should visit a NJ career center paystubs in hand – or, if you are a NJ resident, email your state representative on NJ’s lack of responsiveness – find yours, here:

          The state rep avenue has always proven very effective – you will get an immediate response.

          The other and least preferable option is to ask your employer to which state it has been reporting your wages if NJ tax was never deducted. In which case, you would then go back to NY, paystubs in hand.

          When wages are not reported, the states will do a wage investigation, establish the claim, begin paying you benefits, and go after the employer for the tax.

          • One further comment. If NY showed no wages for you at all, not even through 9/30/2016, then it is unlikely you’ll qualify in NY.

            NJ, on the other hand, doesn’t need two quarters of earnings. It needs either $8,400 or 20 weeks – and it will take wages to date of discharge to qualify you if necessary.

            Your have a much better chance of a claim w/NJ overall, so pursue that – and report back when you get this resolved. I’d like to know the end of this story.

  • Tiffany Stone

    I worked in N.Y. March and April. NJ Sept and Oct and PA Oct and Nov. How do I request a combined wage through NY? I applied and was denied as they only show NY wages.

    • This is a good thing. NY max benefit has been increased to $430 for 2017, and the partial benefit rate is very punitive. NJ and PA both pay MUCH BETTER. You don’t want a NY claim and may very well have an opportunity for two back to back claims – one in NJ, one in PA.

      At this point, you won’t qualify in PA, either, as it will only use earnings October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016. Earliest you can apply in PA would be April when it will capture the Oct/Nov. 2016 earnings.

      Right now you apply in NJ. Ask for a combined-wage claim to include the NY and NJ earnings. NJ base period will be October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016 – or, possibly its Alternate Base Period #1 Jan-Dec.2016 which will include NY/NJ/PA earnings. NJ pays 60% of average weekly wage as a weekly benefit up to the new 2017 maximum of $677 per week.

      When the NJ claim is exhausted, if not all of NJ earnings and none of the PA earnings were used, you then apply in PA – again ask for a combined wage claim to include what remains of the NJ earnings and the two months of PA earnings. Know that, if all of the NJ earnings were used in the NJ claim, PA probably won’t grant a claim. PA requires earnings appear in two quarters, and that 37% of total earnings occur outside your high quarter.

      For now, for sure, you should be fine w/NJ. Call NJ, speak to a rep to request a combined-wage claim.

  • Ginny

    Hi Super Stressed,.. I received a letter on Jan, 10 th letting me know that I would be laid off due to downsizing on Feb 5th. My last pay period is on Feb 10th.
    Do I have to wait for the 5th or the 10th to file for unemployment, or can I do this now to speed up the filing application,?
    I do not want to suffer any payment delays as My budget is very tight..

    • Most states generally take at minimum three weeks to process a claim. Processing can often take much longer. However, know that NY does a pretty good job. Hopefully, if there are no issues with the employer, NY can approve the claim quickly.

      You apply for benefits online on Friday, February 3 or Saturday, February 4th. NY has a one-week unpaid waiting week and postdates its claims to the following Monday. If you file after February 4th, you risk the waiting week being pushed forward another week. Hopefully, by applying Feb. 4th, the week Feb. 5-11 will be the unpaid waiting week.

      You should be entitled to benefits for week ending 2/18, but know that it is unlikely NY will have been able to process and approve the claim in that time frame. More likely, the earliest NY would be in a position to pay benefits will be the week of February 26th. NY will pay retro at that time for weeks ending 2/18 and 2/25.

  • Angelica

    Hi I work for a law firm where the employers belittle the employees. I’ve been here for about 4 more months and the employers curse and yell at the employees in front of everyone, nothing we ever do is good enough for them and we always feel like we are on our toes about to be fired from the job with the way that they act. Since I’ve been there I’m highly stressed, I don’t sleep as much since I’m always thinking about the job and I’m emotionally distressed. I’ve even cried a few times from the stress of this job. I’m at the point where I feel like quitting. If I quit is there any way that I can collect unemployment?

    • Here is what you do. You write a letter to your boss(es) or HR describing in detail the hostile and abusive environment, and ask them to please correct same, because the stress is making you ill. Before you do that, see your doctor and have him state as much. You attach the doctor’s note to your email and/or memo.

      With any luck at all, your employers will fire you. It is much easier to get benefits under a discharge, rather than quitting and having to prove this hostile work environment. If they don’t fire you or correct the abusive environment, resign. Either way, you have made an effort to preserve the employment relationship.

      NY does a more much thorough investigation in the early stages of a claim than many states. Even if employers accuse you of misconduct, clearly any discharge or accusation of misconduct is in retaliation for your attempt to “address your grievance and maintain the employment relationship” – which is necessary for a good cause quit. New York will see employer’s actions for what they are.

      You can get benefits under these circumstances if you handle this properly. The first step is to write that letter addressing the grievance.

  • Magali

    I resigned due to my ex employer not giving me a raise 4 years ago,and they went and hired a staff member from another department paying her more money than me,I have been there for 7 years,do I qualify for unemployment benefits? I just resigned on January 3,2017

    • No. There were no material changes to your employment contract which justified this quit. A better approach would have been to discuss the lack of a salary increase with your employer, possibly in writing. This might have triggered a discharge – for which you would be eligible for benefits.

      • Pili

        Where can I see that my unemployment ends? And when can I reapply? How long more I will get benefits?

        • If you have been told your benefits are exhausted, you cannot reapply in NY until your first benefit year ends (one year after you first applied) – but only if you have worked before then. Find your paperwork. The beginning and end of the benefit year are shown on that – and probably on your online account if you look carefully. For now, there are no further benefits available to you.

  • Francine alvarez

    I just claimed much weekly benefits and the automated system said it was my last payment. It’s been 26 weeks. Am I able to reapply?

  • K

    I have been waiting 10 weeks for a determination of my eligibility. In addition, my understanding is that unemployment lasts up to 26 weeks and that you can only get accepted for SEAP if you have 17 weeks remaining. All this time I’ve been waiting to apply for SEAP (apparently they don’t let you apply until there’s a determination about your eligibility for unemployment benefits in general). Even if I get a notification of eligibility for benefits at the start of next week, I won’t have 17 weeks left as required for SEAP.

    Anyone know (1) how I can get them to hurry up and finally make a determination when it’s already grossly overdue, and (2) whether I’m going to get punished for their foot-dragging in terms of SEAP eligibility?


    • Ten weeks for a decision is unusually long for NY – which is one of the better states for claims processing. You should have become proactive on a decision six weeks ago, latest. Immediately email your state representative. State reps respond promptly. He will intercede w/NY – NY will make a decision, possibly contact you. Find your representative, here:

      If you are denied on SEAP b/c of late-filing, appeal that decision on the basis of NY foot-dragging on your claim – and get your state rep involved in that. He may be able to get that particular denial overturned.

      • K

        Thanks Daphne.

        (Incidentally, I have contacted them a few times since the 6-week mark, first by email and then by phone. With phone I always get voicemail. I didn’t want to alienate the person managing my claim by leaving multiple voicemail messages before a callback given the answering machine spiel specifically says not to do that. I figured alienating a probably overburdened rank-and-file claim screener would be a good way to get my claim denied.)

        • Which is why you go around NY and deal directly with your elected representative after four weeks has passed. Talking directly to an unemployment worker is fruitless in almost all states when there is a snag in the processing.

  • I can’t seem to find info regarding what happens to unemployment benefits if I WAIT….I became unemployed on December 3, 2016, through no fault of my own…my question is—can I wait a MONTH or TWO —and then claim benefits?? We had a death in the family, and trying to look for work AND settle the estate & ALL related matters is just too difficult to handle…BOTH at once is daunting…I would like to handle one AT A TIME…all I could find is that IF I wait–I can lose benefits—-HOW???…..the stupid NY State website is DOWN, try to send a FAX and NO ANSWER….and calling them is a HUGE WASTE OF TIME when the person can’t even speak proper English…how can they hire people to help others if you can’t even understand what they are SAYING???

    • Yes, you can wait. There is no requirement you apply immediately upon discharge. Applying now will save processing time – because it will take a month or so for NY to approve the claim. Otherwise, apply before end of March to preserve wages in the base period. Whether you apply now or the end of March, your benefit would be the same.

  • Tracy


    I have two questions:

    1) I was laid off from work Nov 1, 2016, but because I received a severance I was under the impression that I could not receive unemployment. The severance was one month. Am I now eligible?

    2) Am I still able to collect unemployment if I move to California?

    Thanks so much!

  • Maria

    I have 2 questions.

    #1- I live in New Jersey and was working for a New York-based company. I was telecommuting most days and coming into the office 1 or 2 days a week. Do I need to worry that my claim will be denied because I was not commuting on a daily basis?

    #2- I was laid off in early December and the company paid me severance through the end of the month. (Last check was 12/31.) I just filed for benefits today, stating my 12/2 layoff date and the severance I received. Should I have filed as soon as I was laid off?


  • Mary

    I was hired by my current employer in August of 2016 and I will be laid off, due to the employer closing my current location, on March 1, 2017 (which is scheduled as my last day of employment). If I do not obtain new employment prior to then, I plan to apply for benefits.
    My question: will NY consider Q4 of 2016 (October 2016 thru December 2016) as part of my base period when calculating my benefits? Or will my base period be Q3 2016, Q2 2016, Q1 2016, and Q4 2015?

    • NY will first use base period w/qtr ending 10/2016. You can request the other base period if your benefit will be improved. NY is one of the few states that provide you the option to choose, but you must put it in writing. Your other option is to wait until April to apply.

  • L Lalonde

    When will NYS recognize the seasonal workers that have been a seasonal worker for over 30 years?! Yet they make the same max $$ as someone who is laid off temporarily? We struggle every single winter as my husband does the type of construction work that can’t be done in the winter months and the regular pay of $21 hours can only receive a max of $420?! ( after 33 years) If he is lucky enough to even get a job at minimum wage in the winter, they won’t rehire him because they know he will be leaving for his regular full time job in the spring.. I feel for a person who has proven him/herself over a period of a certain amount of years ( maybe 5 years) to be a consistent seasonal worker and for the same company they SHOULD be able to receive a higher max $$$ that may be more in line with what they will be losing for the 4–5 months. I am trying to say there should be different calculations for the seasonal worker who goes back to the same company and job year after year after year! ($420 = $10.50 hour) which isn’t comparable to the calculations of everyone that is on unemployment. These seasonal workers can’t find jobs most of the time for the off season, and if they do its for minimum wage and they won’t get rehired because they quit when their season of regular work starts back up. Signed ,,,,struggling every winter gets old!

    • Weekly benefits are set by the state legislatures. $420/wk is the maximum mandated by NY state law for unemployment benefits to everyone. ALL CLAIMANTS, even those earning $100k/year, only receive $420/wk. You need to lobby your representatives and state government to increase this benefit. NJ, otoh, pays up to $657/wk.

      In future, have hubby find work in NJ. The benefit is way better – 60% of average weekly wage – and the partial benefit is not nearly as punitive.

  • Maine

    I am currently receiving unemployment my claim ends on Jan 8th 2017 meanwhile I filed for another claim wich won’t start till that one ends will I have a waiting week and will I receive pay from the day I filed the claim back in October

    • Unexhausted benefits from the claim expiring Jan. 8th are lost as benefits are “use it or lose it” within the 52-week benefit year allotted to the claim.

      I’m surprised NY allowed you file a new claim so far in advance of your benefit year end which is not until January 8th. You better call NY to be sure this application will be processed. Normally, the states won’t accept an application for a requalifying claim at benefit year-end until the week the current claim expires – which means, in your case, you apply for a new claim between January 2-6, usually no earlier than Wednesday of that week.

      The new claim, beginning January 9th, will have a unpaid waiting week, as well as an entirely new weekly benefit amount based on the earnings appearing the base year of this new claim.

  • Christina

    Hi, I was laid off and am receiving two weeks of severance pay. There is conflicting information on the websites. One says you should file in the first week you are completely or partially unemployed, the other says you can only file if severance has stopped or is less than the $430 (or whatever that maximum amount is that they pay). So… which is it?

    I don’t want to wait until I’m no longer receiving pay to file in case it takes awhile to process.

    • The “only file” means you can’t claim a week for which you are receiving severance. If you have been discharged, by all means apply now. By the time NY gets its ducks in a row, your two weeks’ severance and NY’s unpaid waiting week will have elapsed. Most states take at least three weeks to process a claim and pay benefits – and that is best case.

  • Nikkita Spencer


    I am currently pregnant and working for a temp agency. My doctor wants me to put me out of work due to the commute to this assignment is a bit much for me physically. Will I be able to collect UI in NYS if she puts me on a medical leave?

    • Medical leave means you are not able to work. Unemployment benefits are paid only to those who are Able and Available – i.e., searching for and available to accept work. You should be able to establish a claim because of the “medical quit,” but, in order to receive benefits, your doctor would need to certify you can work, just not so far from home, and you need to establish you will search for job opportunities closer to your home.

      If pregnancy prevents you from work at all, then, no, there are no unemployment benefits available.

      However, NY does require employers provide disability for their employees. Instead of unemployment benefits, you need to look into this program.

      The disability program, which does cover pregnancy, is probably a better option for you.

  • Sana

    If i am collecting unemployment will i be able to go back to school full time and still receive all my benefits or will i no longer be eligible for unemployment benefits ?

    • Only if your school schedule does not conflict with your ability to search for and accept full-time work if offered. NY needs to approve your class schedule and you need to assure NY you will take a job if offered – and that going to school will not render you Unable and Unavailable.

  • Chris

    Hi. I was terminated from my job for unacceptable conduct. I am in the appeal process of trying to get my job back. I have been with the company for almost 18 years and have a clean record. It was a one time mistake. Will I be able to get unemployment benefits or will I be denied because of gross misconduct.

    • States often overlook a one-time offense if there has been no previous warning, depending on the exact offense. If you physically attacked someone, if you were verbally abusive (this is subjective), if your error/conduct caused serious harm to the employer, then, no, there won’t be forgiveness.

      When you apply for benefits, state you were discharged but do not state discharge was due to misconduct. Instead say the company determined you were a bad fit. The employer may not allege misconduct, in which case, if you state misconduct, you have just provided NY the basis for denial. In other words, avoid incriminating yourself. Let the employer do that. If asked about the incident, of course you need to explain it. But, don’t bring it up.

      NY is better than most states in its initial investigation of the circumstances for the discharge and can be reasonable. Take special care when completing the NY questionnaire which NY may send you to explain your side of the incident after you apply.

  • lala

    Do you receive more money for unemployment if your employer is closing his business? One of my co-workers has been saying that because our employer is closing the business and laying everyone off that we are eligible for 70% of our check. However I see here online that the max you can receive is $405 a week.

    • The benefit will not be higher because the employer closed the business. The benefit is based on wages appearing in whatever base period NY is using for you. If you file now, the base period will be July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016. If you file last week in December or thereafter, the base period will be October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016.

      The max NY pays now is $420//wk. (I’ve just updated the NY page.) This maximum was raised from $405 a year or two ago. So, assuming you’ve got four quarters of earnings between July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016, and the total earnings in your high quarter during that period is at least $10,920, your benefit will be $420/wk. for 26 weeks ($10,920/26=$420). If you’ve earned more than that, the benefit remains at $420. See p. 9, here:

  • jessenia elvir

    I have been working at a doctors office ifor over 2 yrs its a small practice ( 4people) .My manager has been very rude and has been cutting down my hours. when i started working there i was told i would be part time meanwhile i have been working full time hrs. I had a death in the family and left letting my manager know i was leaving , coming back my boss said that he could firer me for leaving but that he would allow me to stay because my coworker was going to take her vacation time and he needed me to be there also he would allow me to stay if i signed a contract agreeing to work in order for him to pay me my Christmas bonus (end of yr ). My manager is giving me 2 days a wk to work. i don’t know if i should just quit or should i sign the contract and stay for the next 2 wks even though i have earned that bonus…..please help me if i quit can i collect unemployment or do i have to be fired ?

    • Aside from the bonus, exactly what are the terms of the contract he wants signed? Just to work through coworker’s vacation and then leave? If so, that’s a resignation. Don’t sign it.

      Do you want to remain as a full-time worker? If so, first address the grievance with the employer – in writing by requesting a return to full-time hours. If you’re lucky he will fire you.

      Otherwise, you have grounds for a quit on the hours reduction – although you were originally hired for part-time work. Two years full-time means an hours reduction now is a material change to your employment contract and pay, the reduction in pay being a hardship, and under NY law should be grounds for a good cause quit.

      • jessenia elvir

        He originally wanted me till dec 31 but now wants me to dec 23 after that i leave i have to stay till the 23 in order to get paid my bonus because there is no one to cover my coworker i have gotten my bonus for the past 2 yrs and now he wants me to stay until dec 23 in order for me to get that $

        • jessenia elvir

          The contract is to re-assure i will be there that way he can give me my bonus.

          • So, he’s discharged you effective December 23rd. Just work until then. It’s much easier to get benefits under a discharge than a quit. He’s let you go. That’s a good thing.

          • jessenia elvir

            Yes he is technically letting me go…. On the contract he put release and discharged and also put another word stating am leaving under my own will can i still collect unemployment even if i do sign the contract?

          • You scratch out you are leaving under your own will. You aren’t.

          • jessenia elvir

            Yes i think he doesn’t know that his lawyer put that on the contract but i am going to tell him to change it…if i get him to change it will i be able to collect unemployment? or what other options do i have if he doesn’t change it?

          • Yes, you get unemployment if he changes it.

            If he doesn’t change it, refuse to sign it and let him discharge you. Unless the bonus is a big amount of money, it’s not worth the hassle navigating the “quit” issue.

            Otherwise, if he won’t take it out and you really want that bonus, when you apply for benefits say you were discharged. If he contests and tells NY you signed a paper saying you left of your own free will, tell NY you were coerced into signing that or you wouldn’t get your bonus, that your employer had definitely discharged you. That’s the harder way of doing it, requires more investigation by NY.

            That said, NY is pretty fair and should see through this.

          • jessenia elvir

            Thank You so much for your advice Hope there was more people like you to help us the people that don’t much about the matter and employers that take advantage of the position and knowledge.

  • Jgreen

    My position was grossly misrepresented and I was hired under false pretenses. This information has just come to light and I am contemplating leaving for that very reason. I have all requirements met. What are my options? NY state

    • Misrepresentation of job duties is a legitimate ground for a quit. Before you do that, email your employer addressing the grievance, requesting you be given a position with duties and skill set as was originally represented to you. If you are lucky, employer will discharge you. Otherwise, quit. Keep good paper records/documentation of your communications.

      You don’t state exactly what the issues are, but NY’s take on job duties, etc. can be found here:

      under 1735 – Violation by employer of terms of employment, subsections C. Job Duties and D. Other – at the bottom of the above page.

  • Suzanne

    I would like to move out of state. I can not find any phone. Numbers to call for out of state registration. ( I am currently receiving in New York Ana would like to move to Pennsylvania . Can you give me a correct phone number to call? I was given wrong numbers at my local office when I went for my orientation ..

    • You don’t need to formally register in Pennsylvania. Notify NY of your new address before you move (you may be able to do this online – otherwise call NY), move to PA, and continue your work searches from PA, You continue to claim your benefits through the NY website.

  • Taylor


    I have been working at my job for two years now until two weeks ago, We got a new director who has only been there for 3 weeks and she fired me because I didn’t ID a child who got picked up by her aunt. we are suppose to ID people who aren’t parents, however the girl shouted that it was her aunt before her aunt even said anything. so i didn’t think much of it because it was clearly her aunt. So i got fired for violating a safety regulation. However the girl knew that it was her aunt who was picking her up. So i got fired for breaking a safety regulation. I filed for unemployment because there are reasons that indicate why i broke that rule. And one is who let her aunt in the building without checking her identification because I was in the classroom at the time and not at the door. that is another reason why i didn’t ID her.

    I am scared that I wont receive unemployment, even though I know people that have gotten fired from their jobs for calling in and not showing up. and even steeling from their job. I should know next week weather or not i should get it. However I am stressing out, please help!

    • If employer cites rules violation, NY may initially deny the claim – depending on what they’ve heard from the employer and you. Normally, a one-time rules violation – in this case understandable – shouldn’t result in a denial, but might.

      Generally, NY does its best to avoid appeals, so performs a much better investigation in the early stages of the application than other states. I assume NY sent you a questionnaire which you’ve returned? NY reads these responses very carefully.

      If you are denied, you would need to request an appeal hearing which will give you a better opportunity to present your case.

  • Sandy

    I was just laid off in New Jersey after working 12 weeks due to budget cuts. Before that I was working in New York for a few years. Is there a way I can still get unemployment. In nj you need to be working either 20 weeks or have made $8400 which I did not.

  • Michael

    I was let go from my company in March 2016 and am still out of work (have sent *hundreds* of e-mails and a boatload of phone calls trying to find work). Now that 2016’s ending am I eligible to file for 26 weeks of unemployment for 2017?

    • Did you file for benefits when you were discharged in March? If you did, that claim will not expire until next March and a new claim is not possible until then – and only if you have worked between 3/16-3/16.

      If you never filed for benefits, yes, you can still collect – provided enough wages remain in the base period to support a claim. NY will use wages July 1, 2015-June 2016 on which to base its claim. File immediately. NY explains how it calculates benefits on page 9, here:

  • I am currently on workers Comp but I am going for an mmi today. My workers Comp case manager tells me that I will lose my Comp benefits today based on determination of my disability.
    The last day I physically worked for the company I am receiving Comp benefits for was in July of 2014.
    I am currently working with acces-vr for job rehabilitation services.
    I reside in New York State. My question is can I receive unemployment benefits if my Comp case ends since I am employable I just need retraining.

  • Ellen

    Very helpful article. I do have a question. I am currently working but am thinking of quitting because of my health. The job is in a call center and they require you to take specific breaks on time in order to meet the company’s standards. I have been with the company for 3 years but in the past year i was promoted to a slightly different role, this role requires more research and time on the phone therefore on most days I am not able to meet my scheduled breaks on time, which as a result affects my numbers to meet the company’s goal/standard. I fear that they will fire me but also fear that my health is in jeopardy if I continue in this position. The stress and other health related issues due to not being able to go on your breaks until it’s scheduled is beginning to affect me. If I quit for these reasons will I be eligible for unemployment?

    • You can’t quit for medical reasons without a doctor’s evaluation stating you need a change in duties and an effort by you to first address the “grievance” with your employer – delineating the issues. Do this in writing, so there is a paper trail. If you’re lucky, your employer will fire you for poor performance. It is markedly easier to obtain benefits if you have been discharge/fired, rather than if you quit.

      Employer citing poor performance is not disqualifying unless they can prove you intentionally did perform as expected. In your case, you’ve tried hard, done the best you could, but the added workload requires you eliminate breaks which, over time, affects your ability to do the job properly.

      Work towards a discharge – or a return to your old job duties.

  • Kathryn

    Can NYS unemployment force me to take a job that will pay me less than my unemployment benefit ?

    • Yes. The $ amount of your benefit has nothing to do with what is considered “suitable” work for you. It really depends – on how long you’ve been unemployed and if the work is something you are capable of doing.

      NY says this:

      The Unemployment Insurance cutoff wage is a
      wage that is 10% below the Unemployment Insurance prevailing wage for
      a given occupation.

      If you are offered a job that pays at least the Unemployment Insurance cutoff
      wage for jobs in your most recent occupation, you must accept it or risk losing
      your unemployment benefits.

      After you have claimed 10 full weeks of Unemployment Insurance benefits,
      the definition of what is considered suitable work expands to include any work
      that you are capable of doing, even if you have no experience or training in
      that type of work. If you are offered a job after receiving benefits for 10 weeks,
      you must accept it if:
      • You are capable of doing the job;
      • It pays at least 80% of your high-quarter base-period wages; and
      • It pays at least the Unemployment Insurance cutoff wage for such work.
      If you refuse to accept a job that meets these three conditions after
      receiving 10 weeks of benefits, you could lose your eligibility to receive
      Unemployment Insurance benefits.

      Read the above handbook – p. 26.

  • Denise

    I am being medically separated from a federal position in New York as I am no longer able to perform my job due to a physical disability. I am already working with a vocational counselor to pursue alternative employment, but it will take some time to be retrained. While I plan to resume working at least part-time, I have also applied for federal medical disability retirement. Can I receive unemployment benefits while awaiting determination of my medical disability retirement application (can take up to 6 months to process)? Would I need to repay any unemployment benefits if I am eventually awarded disability retirement (would receive a lump-sum dating back to my separation date)? Please note that I anticipate being denied SSD benefits as I am able to work in a new profession. Thank you.

    • Yes, you can receive unemployment benefits while awaiting disability benefits provided you search for and are able to accept work. The work doesn’t have to be in your field. If you are unable to search for and accept work, you are ineligible for benefits. If you are awarded disability (SSDI) retro to the time you applied for benefits – unlikely, because usually there is a five-month exclusion – you need to repay the weeks for which you were paid twice.

  • JG

    My question is hypothetical. I am about to start a temp to hire position in NYS. If I am NOT hired at the end of the 3 months and I am let go simply for not being up to par, or because there’s an internal employee, will I still be able to get unemployment insurance?

  • Lori

    I recently claimed benefits and I know there will be an investigation regarding the reason which can take about 4-6 weeks. My question is if I am approved for benefits will I receive the money for the waiting weeks of Benefits owed to me in a lump sum? Thanks so much!

  • If I live in New Jersey, but was fired in NYC, can I collect while looking fir work in New Jersey near home?

    • You absolutely can live anywhere and look for work anywhere, and still collect benefits from the State of New York. You could move out of state, look for work in the new location, and still collect from New York. The only requirement for benefits is that FUTA taxes on your wages were paid to the State of New York and that you are looking for work. Your state of residence is irrelevant.

  • Michael Hassler

    My benefit year ended last week . I filed a new claim on Monday . This will be my waiting week however I am retuning to work tomorrow. Can I just cancel my claim?

    • Don’t do that. If you qualify now for another claim, open it – even if you never receive a benefit now. It will stay on NY’s books for a year and be there for you to reopen if you need it.

      There’s no guarantee this new job will last. If you have worked during this past benefit year, you will qualify for another claim. There may be a decent LAG (unused earnings from earlier employment) attached which can provide a very good benefit.

      If you cancel the new claim, that LAG will eventually age out of your base period. If that happens, should you lose this job six months hence, there may not be enough wages remaining in the new base period to provide an equivalent benefit.

  • Sandra Turturro

    I have been working for my employer for 8.5 years… I work Monday-Friday… 6 hours each day… Total of 30 hours per week…they do not give me a lunch period… Recently my employer cut my hours down to 18 hours per week now working Mon, Wed and Friday only… 6 hours each day.. Am I eligible to collect unemployment for the hours/days that I have been advised not to work bc there is no work coming into the business.

    • Chances are the three days you are working exceeds whatever NY’s weekly benefit (WBA) would be for you. That said, if you earn less than your WBA, the best you could expect is 25% of your weekly benefit, because NY docks from the benefit 25% of the WBA for every day worked, regardless if that day is 5 min. or 10 hours.

      Example: Max NY benefit is $420. In that case, daily benefit is $105. Therefore, if you work three days, you lose $315, and are paid $105 – assuming gross earnings for the three days you work does not reach $420.

      Your other alternative is to quit for good cause because of the hours/pay reduction, receive your full WBA, and look for another better-paying job.

      NY’s case precedent on this is here:

      Claimant’s leaving was with good cause where his monthly salary was reduced to correspond to a shorter work week, such reduction not being uniformly applied to all personnel in claimant’s category, as the employer in effect materially altered the terms and conditions of the contract of hire. (A.B. 13,619-46; A-750-767)

      Caveat here is were you the only person singled out for this hours reduction.

      Under federal law, a material change such as you’ve experienced is tantamount to a discharge from your old job, and being offered new, unsuitable work as to hours/pay – i.e., going from full-time to part-time.

      NY is a reasonable state, so you should qualify for benefits if you decide to quit. You may want to consult a NY employment atty before making this decision.

  • Theron

    We had mass layoffs at my full-time employer where I have been earning 95% of my income. The remaining 5% has come from driving with Lyft. Will this part-time job prevent me from claiming UI?

    • It could. NY may determine that you should now be driving full-time for Lyft as you can make yourself available for full-time hours and deny benefits – and that if you don’t drive full-time for Lyft it is a job refusal without good cause b/c you are already doing this. Apply and see where it goes. Lyft will be an issue.

  • Cody

    If I worked say two 12 hour days as opposed to three 8 hour day? Or if I work one 16 hour shift. How would these be individually reported to UI

  • Jessica

    I was terminated from my NYC job in July of 2015 due to lack of work ethic is it to late for me to file for unemployment benefits?

    • Yes, it is too late to apply now. Apply today and NY will use July 2015-June 2016 for base period wages. NY requires two quarters of earnings before you are eligible. A few weeks earnings in July 2015 won’t do it.

  • Sherine

    Hi, I want to know if I can collect NYC unemployment if I worked for a Health Care agency. I dont work the hours I would normally worked (32-40 weekly) because I’m attending Community College. I can only work 1 day (12hrs) sometimes. What do I do?

  • When i open up my existing claim is there still a waiting week

  • Elizabeth

    I am currently collecting NY UEB, it’s my 10th wk. I may have an opportunity to work, on a 1099 basis, for 90 days, a pre hire test period I’m told.

    Do I continue to certify each week reporting that I work so I don’t get paid but keeping my claim open? Or, do I say I’ve returned to work full time?

    Normally I wouldn’t care but I don’t trust the his guy for more than the test and, it’s significantly more amount of income. Thank you.

    • Just stop claiming. NY pays based on “days” worked. Full-time work in NY is four days or any part of a day worked. Therefore no benefit is paid. When no benefit is paid, NY will automatically close the claim. This is standard procedure in every state. No benefit payment, claim closes. When you finish the 1099 project, call NY to REOPEN the claim.

  • Jenny

    The NY company I freelance-worked for stopped being able to pay the little it did after 1Q 2015. I never filed for unemployment. I did some work for a company in a different state in 2016. I will be freelance-working for a NY company next month but it is most likely it won’t have any work for me beyond then. How and when should I go about filing for unemployment?

    • Free lance is normally paid 1099, not W-2 – as generally free-lancers are independent contractors, not employees. 1099 wages are not eligible for unemployment benefits. If the free-lance agency has actually been paying you W-2, paying into FICA and reporting your wages to NY and paying the applicable UI taxes, you should be eligible for a New York claim. You apply with NY when the job ends. You should try to speak with a rep and file for a “combined-wage” claim so that your earnings in the other state are included in the base-year. If this job ends before 2017, wait until Jan 2017 to apply so that you can include earnings through 12/31/2016.

  • Jeremy Klein

    I was let go from my job for downsizing reasons on oct 3rd. I got my final base pay check oct. 7th. I filed on oct. 11th. I claimed my weekly benefits two weeks in row and now for this week I received another check but this was for commissions and expenses owed to me from September. Can I claim my weekly benefits during this week?

  • Can nys combine the two jobs together the existing claim and the new claim

    • No. The base year for earnings, monetary value of the claim, and weekly benefit paid are determined at the time the claim is opened and cannot be changed. The more recent wages are available for a new claim when the current claim benefit year expires. There is no way, in any state, to enhance your current benefit because of these recent earnings. These recent earnings are available for possible use only in a future claim.

  • I was collecting unemployment my claim is still open because i havent collected the full 26weeks I found a new job recently got laid off can i file another claim my job where I got laid off paid more so how does this work ny

    • You REOPEN your existing claim. Your original claim has a benefit year within which you can collect those 26 weeks. You are only allowed one claim per benefit year. Obtaining and losing another job within the benefit year allows you to REOPEN your existing claim – which you should be able to do online. NY will need to investigate this most recent job loss before it can resume benefits.

  • Gina

    I understand that if you quit your job you are unable to collect benefits. My question- if you quit because the position you were hired for managing eight people is no longer. Due to company downsizing I am the only person left running the company here in the USA and my employer does not pay me on time. Sometimes she is 2 pay periods behind. I have several emails dated back to 2015 from the employer stating this would be the last time she would be late. Would this reason allow me to step down voluntarily and still collection unemployment benefits?

  • Elitzel

    Hi i worked for 8 years, Im receiving unemployment at this time, but my 26 weeks are about to be finish. my letter from the unemployment says that is for one year but im not sure if i can reapply.

    • One year (benefit year) means you have one-year to collect the $$ amount allocated to this claim. If you’ve been collecting steadily for 26 weeks, there are no further benefits available to you in the current benefit year. In order to qualify for another claim when the current benefit year ends, you must find some work before then.

  • mc

    What if I was laid off on my last jon Feb-oct 2016.
    But the prior job(sept 2014 – feb 2016) i quit, to move to the job i just lost?

  • Gina

    I quit my job of three years due to a high stress environment. After a two months of no work, I have found a temporary job. The temp job will last three months. Will I be eligible for benefits once the temp job ends?

    • NY requires you have earnings in at least two quarters – i.e, quarter ending 12/31/2016 and quarter ending 3/31/2017 (assuming this new job has just begun).

      NY also requires you earn at least $1,900 and that total earnings equal 1.5x your high quarter. From the NY handbook:

      Earnings Required to Qualify for Benefits
      To qualify for benefits, you must meet all three of the following earnings requirements during your base period (basic or alternate):
      • You must have worked and been paid wages in jobs covered by Unemployment Insurance in at least two calendar quarters;
      • You must have been paid at least $1,900 in one calendar quarter; and
      • The total wages paid to you must be at least 1.5 times the amount paid to you in your high quarter. Your high quarter is the quarter of your base period in which you were paid the most money.

      Exception: If your high quarter wages were $9,350 or more, you must have been paid at least $4,675 (half of $9,350) total in the other three quarters of your base period.

      • Example: Your high quarter wages were $4,000. You must have been paid at least $6,000 ($4,000 x 1.5 = $6,000) total for all four quarters of your base period.

      Please note: To be eligible for benefits, you must also have lost work through no fault of your own; be ready, willing and able to work; and be actively looking for work.

      More info, here – see pp. 8-9:

  • Khan


    I worked for a company here from March 7 till now (Oct 12). If I got terminated for any valid reason, am I eligible for unem. benefit considering this period of work in NY. I have a corp selling online last few months with no income at all. Does it affect my claim? I earn my income from job and always have to find another full time job, as the business has no contribution in my personal income. Please advise.

  • Alexa pagan

    I’ve been working at a law office since Oct 5 2016 and today I was just told that on October 28th will be my last day. I just recently had to move from no to ny Bc of financial reasons and I’ve been commuting to work and told my boss that I was looking for another job but will not give my two weeks until I found permanent employment. He was fine at first but today he told me he found my replacement. Will I be eligible for unemployment?

    • Apply for benefits. You have been discharged. Your employer will say you gave notice to quit when, in fact, you did not. NY has found favorably for other claimants who have given an actual quit date and were then fired before that date. In those cases, the claimants got a full 26-week claim. By all means, apply.

  • Vicki

    I just filed my weekly UEI claim and realized, with horror, that I had completely forgotten to file my claim for the week before.

    What should I do? I am in the SEAP program and am so busy with my approved business start up I just forgot to file.

    I am praying that I will merely get an extra week of unemployment, since I did not claim a week? Please tell me that is so!

    Thank you!

  • jerry

    I am a New York resident residing in Europe, i am planning on a 4 month stay in New York after which i will return to Europe. Can i claim unemployment during this time frame? Also, my last period of employment was 2008, working for the DOD overseas.

    • Unemployment benefits are based on wages paid no further back than up to 18 months from the date you apply. If you applied today, NY would review earnings April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016. Since you have no US earnings during that period, you do not qualify for benefits.

  • Mich

    I thought I would have to. It’s a bit of a rock and a hard place. I actually requested telework since some people in the hospital I worked are able to get that but my position wasn’t eligible for it. When I answered the claim’s questionnaire I mentioned that I relocated for this reason and I saw a similar situation under the reasons spouses move. In my case I now have help caring for my sick child. I don’t think my HR will contest my claim, but like you said I will have to sever my employment. I have feeling that I’ll get denied at least initially, do you know how long it usually takes for NY DOL to decide on these less cut and dry situations?

    • Unlike other states, NY avoids appeals if at all possible – so NY does an extensive investigation before making a decision. If you can provide proper medical evidence to support your reasons for the move, your situation could very well be resolved without an appeal. That said, a gathering and review of the documentation will take at minimum six weeks or longer before a decision. Do your best to answer NY’s questionnaire as completely as possible and provide any and all doctors statements to support your reasons for the move. If you are still denied, it may be another two months or longer before NY will hear the appeal. All told, worst case, the process can take four-five months.

  • Michele

    I resigned from my job to relocate to an area that had a climate that would be better for my sick son. My job was very understanding and allowed me to take extended leave without pay until I can find a position to transfer into in that area. In my resignation letter I was specific in mentioning my son’s issues and family reasons. In fact he was admitted for a week during my last few days at work. I am now back and forth between GA and NY because I am prepping my house there as a rental. I am actively seeking employment in GA and I have rented a house there already. I have also moved my mother there to help me with my child while I work. My question is since I resigned, AND since I’m technically not “unemployed” will I be able to collect unemployment? If I just request termination will I be able to collect then?

    • You need to sever your relationship with the Company. The issue of relocation will need to be adjudicated in your favor before NY would grant benefits, as “B” (below) would appear to preclude that. You’ve been granted the LOA – but now are quitting. You will need to prove the change in climate was essential.

      NY says this on situations similar to yours:

      1635. Domestic reasons

      C. Illness in household

      A. Voluntary leaving is with good cause where a claimant is needed at home to care for ill members of his family. In such cases, however, the claimant is not eligible for benefits because of unavailability. (A.B. 16,574-48; A.B. 15,748-48).

      B. A claimant who leaves employment rather than accept a leave of absence to care for an ill family member does so without good cause. (A.B. 217,531)

  • Frank


    Once I apply for unemployment, how long does it typically take to rule if I’m eligible? And if I’m deemed eligible, I understand there is a one week waiting period but when would I be able to expect my first direct deposit at that point?

    • Approval within three-four weeks if there are no issues – and payment at that point for two-three weeks depending on where in the cycle the approval comes. If NY needs to investigate the separation, it could take up to six-eight weeks depending on circumstances.

  • Pat

    Worked 10 years for nys doc. I resigned. Went to work right after that for 2 months part time. The budget did away with my position. Now I have no job. Can I draw unemployment?

    • Depends on how much work you’ve done in those two months. NY requires:

      3 days work in each of 5 weeks and 5 x WBA

      after a quit before benefits can be paid. NY may need paystubs from this most recent job to verify earnings. If you haven’t met the earning requirement, you may still receive benefits if you can prove (at appeal) that you quit the earlier job for good cause – such as a substantially better new job, hostile work environment, medical reasons.

      By all means, apply.

  • Tommy

    I was terminated from a company out of nowhere over a month ago by phone. No warning or write up. I filed unemployment and it still says “pending status”. Meanwhile i was already told what i would receive a week.
    I called twice. They told me it could take 4-6 weeks
    They transfered me to person handling my case, i left a voicemail with ss# and call back. No answer as of yet.

    • NY is normally fairly efficient in its claims processing. That said, four-six weeks is about right when an investigation is necessary which firings always require. NY may be still waiting for an employer response. Normally, the applicant is also sent a questionnaire to complete. NY very often can make a good decision based on your answers to those questions. Fwiw, earliest any claimant in any state is paid is three-four weeks after application – and that is only if it is a clean separation – no firing, straight layoff and employer says as much.

  • Jason

    I was terminated from my job. However, my employer stated that they will allow me to receive unemployment benefits; my question, I live in New Jersey, do I file in NJ or NY? thank you

    • You file in the state where you were employed, not where you live. NJ is a much better state relative to benefits paid (60% of weekly wage up to $657/wk. v. NY’s max of $420/wk.) and partial benefit formula if you work while collecting benefits but, if your wages were not reported to NJ, NJ won’t grant a claim. You can try to apply in NJ, of course. If denied because of lack of wages, then apply in NY.

  • alexisa carpenter

    Why is it, that you can only claim 26 weeks in a 52 calender year? But I’m entitled to a year worth of claiming?

    • State law determines the maximum number of weeks paid in a benefit year. 26-weeks’ benefits is a typical maximum for most states. Some states provide as few as 12-14 weeks.

      The claimant has one year (the benefit year) to collect those benefits. Claimant could be working on and off during benefit year and only be collecting intermittently. If the monetary award is not exhausted at the end of the benefit year, the monies are lost.

      Benefits are funded by employer UI (FUTA) taxes and some state (and occasionally federal) money. Only three states – Alaska, Pennsylvania, NJ – also require the employee to contribute towards unemployment insurance. The employee tax collected over many years of work is very, very low and would not provide more than a few weeks benefits. The employer, on the other hand, pays 10x as much, and is subject to increase in its FUTA tax annually depending on claims against its account – which is why some employers routinely challenge all unemployment claims – and why some states continue to reduce the number of weeks paid – i.e., employer objections are driving state policy on reduction of these benefits, particularly in the southern and GOP governed states.

  • Anthony

    I just heard from a higher up inside my company that the company is considering “furlough” and would have us work three days a week instead of 5. Can you collect for the 2 days taken away?

    • As stated in the posts above yours, NY uses days worked. Nonetheless, if your earnings equal your weekly benefit, you are not paid at all. Otherwise, NY allocates 25% of its benefit to each of four days within a work week. If you work three days, you lose 75% of the benefit, and are paid an unemployment benefit for one day only.

      • Tom

        I am confused when you say “NY does not use $$ earned when calculating the benefit”. When I claim weekly benefits it asks for How many days I was not available and whether I earned more than $425. Suppose I worked 2 days and earned $500 then will I receive benefits for that week? I am asking this question because I may be able to work for part-time for 2 weeks but if I do not receive benefits due to the rate being more than $425 then I may as well do not take the part time offer.

        • You are correct. NY says this:

          Do not claim benefits for any week in which you work more than three days or earn more than the maximum benefit rate.

          So, no, you can’t claim that week. $500 gross will net you $461 after FICA deduction and b/4 federal and NY taxes, and then there are transportation costs. So, at best you’re probably breaking even. If you take the job, the weekly benefit remains for you to collect later.

          Keep in mind, depending on who is offering this work, a refusal might result in that employer reporting to NYS that you’ve refused suitable work, which would stop your claim completely until NY investigates. A good cause reason for not accepting would be you are looking for full-time work, part-time work is not suitable.

          Who is offering you this work? If it is through a temp agency, beware it is very likely the agency will report this as a job refusal.

  • Anthony

    There is potential of a company layoff coming… I do part time work Saturday and Sunday only and receive my checks every week for that part time work. If I get cut from my regular job can I collect the unemployment for my regular job (Mon -FRi) and still work my part time weekend job without any penalty?

  • guan

    I lost my full time job in NY and applied for NY UI, where I got approved to receive benefits for 26 weeks. While I was in the waiting period (first week) I did a job for one day (substitute worker, but pay was more than double that I would collect from one week of UI benefits). It is a one time thing and will not be given again.
    1. Should I report the work I did because I will not anyway receive UI for that week BUT will that require me to do another application since it was some sort of an employment?
    2. Or should simply not claim any benefits at all for that week. But will that stop me getting UI for the rest of the weeks.

    • NY states:

      Do not claim benefits for any week in which you work more than three days or earn more than the maximum benefit rate.

      Because you earned more than a week’s benefit that day, the following week should become your unpaid waiting week.

      Not claiming for that week will not require another application, but it may require you call NY before you are able to continue claiming. NY may want to investigate why that job ended.

  • Rich

    I just started working at my job about 2 months ago. I just found out they might be closing and I am just trying to figure out if i am going to be eligible for benefits. I was on unemployment before i got this job and exhausted my claim. I understand one of the stipulations is you need to work 6 months but i did not know if there was something that could be done because the employer closed up shop.

    • If you collected six months benefits, then worked two months, it appears your claim began Dec. 2015/Jan. 2016 which means the claim doesn’t expire until four months from now. Regardless that benefits have been exhausted, you cannot apply for another NY claim until the current benefit year expires in Dec. 2016/Jan. 2017. Depending on LAG (unused earnings) from the earlier claim that, together with your earnings from the past two months, may be enough to qualify for a new claim.

  • Melissa

    So my unemployment got denied for the reason of my termination. I start a new job in a week so appealing to my denied claim is not even worth it at this point. In the letter, it tells me why I was denied. Do I just leave it alone now and move on? Or do I have to send something back or cancel it? And how?

  • Harry

    Question i work a full time job from 1130pm -730 am then a part time job from 3-630pm mon-fri plus 7-1pm on Saturday. My second job is seasonal april-nov, can i collect unemployment when my second job ends in November?

  • Danielle

    Because of personal reasons I have to resign from my job. My boss is completely understanding and told me because of my reasoning that i can still collect unemployment and they wont block me (I completely believe her….she wants to insure when i am able to get back to work they can take me back). She told me I wouldnt have a problem considering my personal dilemmas. Will i still be able to collect uninsurance benefits?

    • Without a better explanation of your “personal” reason, there is no way to know if NY will grant benefits. Domestic violence is a ‘personal’ reason that may create eligibility. Others are more subjective.

  • Polly

    I did not have enough money in my base quarterly because I’ve only been at the job six months however as of September 30 I will I made the most money between April 1st and July 30….so that quarter does not count because it’s The quarter prior to me filing can I reapply September 30 so that quarter counts in my base??? Please help

  • Steve

    Hi I was fired on August 12 but as part of settlement I will get paid by end of September . When can I claim my unemployment ? If I wait till end of September and stop working in August will it be to late to claim ?

    Thank you

    • The only time it is too late to file is when there are no wages remaining in your base period. Depending your work history, that could be six months to a year from now. That said, you should file now. It will take NY a while to get the claim in place – especially since you’ve been fired. NY will need to do an investigation. NY won’t pay benefits until wages through end of September are exhausted. By the time the wage payments are exhausted, NY should have processed the claim and, assuming there are no issues, you can begin to file weekly benefit claims.

  • Marina

    Hello guys
    About 2 months ago i lost my job and started receiving unemployment benefits. After 2 weeks An emergency situation in my family forced me to leave the country as I was informed that my 85 year old grandmother was in critical condition. My family booked a trip for me so I could get a chance to see her probably for the last time.
    I did not inform the department of labor as this was a rushed trip ( ticket was booked one day before flight) and i had no idea that i had to inform! Its my first time collecting UI.
    My benefits were discontinued a week after i left the country. Deaprtment of labor sent me an online quationare and I answered honestly and shortly asking to be contacted for furthur info.
    My trip lasted 2 weeks and its been 2 weeks since im back, job hunting in the states. I havent recieved any answers. No one has contacted me thusfar and as u all know it is getting scary to be in this vulnerable situation with absolute no income.
    Who can i reach out to? Im in new york city. Is there any offices to go for a follow up? I’d appreciate your feedback

    • Did you make any effort to claim while out of the country? If so, you’ve got a serious problem. You NEVER file a weekly claim for unemployment benefits when you are not inside the United States – especially if you are claiming benefits from NYS. You could lose your entire claim and the rights to any future claim for two years.

      First step – call the NYS CS line for unemployment benefits – just as you would for any unemployment benefit issue – and tell the rep you are back, searching for work, have returned the questionnaire, want to reopen the claim effective upon your return and continue to claim benefits. Enough time has elapsed, it sounds like NY may want an interview, copy of your passport and itinerary.

  • Mai Lee

    You will not let me file for my weekly benefits due to a address change. I called your 1 800 number and was unable to get through. I tried to leave a call back number but after several wasted attempts they said my number is invalid. What do I do?

  • Jeff Chehovits

    Just kind of got let go from a Telecom Construction company based in Elmsford NY (White Plains area). I live in Pittsburgh, commuted etc and we had an operation in Pittsburgh based out of my home office.
    Do I file my claim through PA or NY. The accountant called and said they paid NY and need to go through them. HELP!

    • The accountant is correct. What matters is to which state your wages were reported and to which state your employer paid FUTA taxes. PA won’t pay benefits because none of your wages will appear in its database.

  • Rob

    I’ve made over $2100 but I’ve worked just under 3 months am i eligible for unemployment benefits?

    • No. You need income in one quarter of at least $1,900 and total income over two quarters of at least $2,850. NY says this on income:

      Earnings Required to Qualify for Benefits
      To qualify for benefits, you must meet all three of the following earnings
      requirements during your base period (basic or alternate):
      • You must have worked and been paid wages in jobs covered by
      Unemployment Insurance in at least two calendar quarters;
      • You must have been paid at least $1,900 in one calendar quarter; and
      • The total wages paid to you must be at least 1.5 times the amount paid to
      you in your high quarter. Your high quarter is the quarter of your base period
      in which you were paid the most money.

      Exception: If your high quarter wages were $9,350 or more, you must have been paid at least $4,675 (half of $9,350) total in the other three quarters of your base period.
      • Example: Your high quarter wages were $4,000. You must have
      been paid at least $6,000 ($4,000 x 1.5 = $6,000) total for all four
      quarters of your base period.

  • Mike B

    I just lost the job which was my primary, (only significant), income. I own a sole proprietorship which brings in little-to-no income at all. Can I still qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • Yes, you absolutely qualify for benefits. NY may query you on your “sole proprietorship” if it is registered with the state. You need to prove that his sole proprietorship does not prevent you from being able and available – i.e., able to search for and accept full time work. NY understands people free-lance and have side jobs. Just be sure to report any income for this work, should it occur.

  • ~Mike Carelli

    I live and work in New York State but I work for a Pennsylvania company. My company is paying into PA unemployment, but, if I lose my job, can I file for unemployment in NY? Or do I have to file in PA?

    • You file PA. You are much better off filing in PA. PA pays a much higher weekly benefit (max $573 v. $420) and has a very good partial benefit formula in the event you find part-time work while collecting benefits, grossing up your weekly benefit 30% and deducting earnings from that. Whereas, NY, on the other hand, will dock you 25% of your weekly benefit for every “day” you work. A “day” in NY means any PART of a day, and can mean as little as ten minutes whether or not paid.

  • D. Harris

    Can I receive unemployment benefits if I resign from my job with a legitimate reason?

  • Larry

    I work in Pennsylvania but I’m a resident of New York state where do I file, New York or Pennsylvania.

    • Jeb

      I am collecting NYS unemployment now. However, I haven’t found a job here. My friend lives in Hawaii and he told me I might be able to find a job in my field there. Can I still collect NYS unemployment there until i find a job?

    • Jeb

      Sorry Larry, this is what I wanted to post

      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. See details and filing instructions in other states. .
      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. You may be able to combine wages from all the states where you worked in the past 18 months. OR, you may use only the wages earned in the filing state. File your claim in a state where you worked, then that state will tell you all your filing options to receive the highest benefit amount. See details and filing instructions in other states.

    • @larry – if you are working for a PA employer in PA, you apply in PA.

  • Eric

    Now what if i work 4 hrs/day for 3 days, Do i still put down I work 3 days? Because a day is 24hrs and i only worked 12 hrs that week.

    • In NY, you report days worked – even if it is only 4 hours because in NY, if you work even part of a day, you lose the entire day’s benefits. So, if you have worked four hours on three separate days, you have lost benefits for each of those three days.

      NY handbooks says this:

      If you did any work on a day, even if it was an hour or less and even if you did not receive pay, it counts as a day of work and you must report it that way.

      • kim

        why is it that way? shouldn’t it go by your gross earnings? in other words you are expected to take a job making half or less than half the amount of your unemployment insurance.

        • NY is the only state I am aware of which does not consider gross earnings when calculating a partial benefit. If you want to work in NY while collecting unemployment benefits, be sure you get an entire day’s work – not just a few hours – because you will lose that entire day’s benefit no matter how much or how little you work. My guess on WHY is that rather than program its computers to do a mathematical calculation, NY chose to dock the claimant an entire day’s benefit for any part of a day worked.

          The only state worse than NY is Michigan which pays only 20 weeks’ benefits maximum. If you claim benefits in a week in which you’ve also worked, instead of deducting benefit paid from the monetary award, MI deducts the WEEK from the “weeks” allocated to the claim, regardless of how much or how little is earned.

  • chas

    If i quit my job , is there a waiting of 7 weeks before i can apply for unemployment?

    • No state has a waiting period of seven weeks for benefits. Provided you have sufficient earnings in your base period at the time you apply, you are eligible for benefits. NY does, however, have a unpaid waiting week after you apply.

      All that said, if your question is because you feel you won’t have sufficient earnings in your base unless you wait, that is another issue, entirely. For example, you worked a month in July but those earnings would not appear in an alternate base period until October. Then, you apply in October and under its alternate base period NY will capture earnings through September 30th.

  • Pam

    I am thinking of moving from ny to Penna.
    Once I get to pa. Can I collect unemployment til I find a job.

  • Herman

    Does the NYS DOL contact your former employer when determining if you are eligible or not?

    • Jay

      Question: I was employed with a temporary agency for a foster care agency. I worked full time, 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m. five days per week from mid November (15th) 2015 an my assignment ended on April 5, 2016, can I apply for unemployment benefits. I live and worked in Manhattan NY

    • @herman – Indeed, NY does contact your former employer. All states do this. NY needs to determine the circumstances of the separation – i.e., was it for misconduct, was it a layoff, did you quit for cause – before it can determine your eligibility for benefits.

  • Kathleen Ledda

    Why does the NYS DOL Unemployment Division use a 4 day work week when one is claiming part time work please?

    • Because NY assumes if one is working five days, one is working full-time. NY’s maximum benefit now is $420 per week, or $105 per day. Beware working part-time in NY, however. Even working 30 minutes in a day eliminates and entire day’s benefits.

  • I can’t get a hand book sent to me claimed in October no news yet

  • I found this article very interesting and hopeful. Hear me out. I was hired in Dec 2010 and had a Letter of intent (LOI which also states I have a salary) by the owner of a company in Germany. The US branch is in California. I live in Massachusetts. I sent my resume and my W2 to the boss in CA and started working for him, and I have been receiving my checks from that part company. My boss in CA was paying my full Cobra benefits (from the job I left for this one) until recently, now he only pays 1/2 of the benefit. I pay the other 1/2. I work at home 8-10 hrs a day sometimes more, fly to FLL for training, and travel with expenses paid to promote and train other offices to use our software. I am given tasks to do with deadlines, work specific hours when I am out training others and I have a computer they furnished by the German headquarters. I also have business cards. So it sounds like (under normal circumstances) if I am laid off there is a chance I will qualify for unemployment. The question is with my boss living and working on the West coast and me on the East coast will still I qualify for unemployment ?

    • Yes, you should receive benefits. You are working remotely for a California-based company. This company should have a CA EIN number, be subject to the labor laws in the State of California, and should be reporting your wages and paying UI tax to the State of California. Because MA pays a higher benefit, however, first place to apply for benefits would be MA, on the off-chance your wages were reported and tax paid to your state of residence. Most likely MA will tell you it shows no wages for you in its database, in which case you then apply in California.

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