Changes to Unemployment Filing Requirements in NYS

In New York State, the Department of Labor recently changed the way individuals file for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic (as of March 27, 2020). Here's what you need to know:

  • For COVID-19 impacted workers, the one-week waiting period has been suspended. As soon as you are no longer able to work you are eligible to apply.

  • If your hours have been reduced because of COVID-19, and you work less than four days a week and earn $504/week or less, you may be eligible to receive partial Unemployment benefits.

  • You can file for benefits online at https://applications.labor.ny.gov/IndividualReg/ or by calling 1-888-209-8124.

  • New guidelines to reduce the amount of stress placed on the filing system are in place: If you are filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim, you should apply based on the first letter of your last name:

    • If your last name starts with A – F, file your claim on Monday.

    • If your last name starts with G – N, file your claim on Tuesday.

    • If your last name starts with O – Z, file your claim on Wednesday.

    • Those who missed their filing day can file their claim on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. (Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim.)

  • Individuals in NY State currently receiving benefits are encouraged not to call the unemployment office, due to the fact that the way they apply for benefits has not changed, and these unnecessary calls can place an enormous strain on the system.

  • The telephone filing hours have been extended: Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 7:30 pm, Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm. 

  • Any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid for all benefits due.

Additional Resources: