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Unemployment Insurance Info Frequently Asked Questions

A.  What is Unemployment Insurance?

Unemployment Insurance is temporary income for eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own, who are ready, willing, and able to work, and who have sufficient work and wages in covered employment. 

B. I lost my job, how do I apply for unemployment insurance?

You can apply for unemployment benefits by filing a claim on the New York State Department of Labor’s website, https://www.labor.ny.gov/home/.  Click on ‘Unemployment Benefits,” and log in with your Social Security number and a four-digit Personal Identification Number, to be kept confidential.  Then select the option to “file a claim.”  You can also file a claim by calling the Department of Labor’s Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-209-8124 for New York State residents, 1-877-358-5306 for non-residents). 

To claim your weekly benefits, inquire about the status of your claim, or obtain general information about unemployment insurance, you may go to the Department of Labor’s website, or call the Department of Labor’s automated Tel-Service.

A Handbook for Persons Claiming Benefits under the New York State Unemployment Insurance Law will be mailed to you after you have filed a claim, and may also be accessed on the Department of Labor’s website.