You must work in new employment and earn 10 times your benefit rate before you can file a new claim. Your benefit rate can be found on the Monetary Benefit Determination notice previously mailed to you.
To qualify for benefits, you must meet all three of the following requirements:
You must have worked and been paid wages for work in at least two calendar quarters in your Basic or Alternate Base Period;
For claims filed in 2017, you must have been paid at least $2,100 in wages in one of the calendar quarters (this amount increases to $2,200 for claims filed in 2018) in your base period; and
The total wages paid to you in your Basic or Alternate Base Period must be at least one and one-half times your high quarter wages. Your high quarter wages are the wages paid in the calendar quarter in which you were paid the most money.
Exception: If your high quarter wages were $9,570 or more, you must have been paid at least $4,785 (half of $9,570) total in the other three quarters of your base period.
Once you use wages to establish a claim, you cannot use those same wages again to qualify for another claim. This may affect your ability to qualify for a later claim.
If you were fired for misconduct or a criminal act, you may not use any wages paid to you for that work to establish a claim or to calculate your benefit rate.
If you are filing a repeat unemployment insurance claim, you must have earned new wages of at least ten times your benefit rate in the benefit year to qualify for a new claim.
Yes, you must actively look for work while you are collecting benefits. According to New York State Labor Law, you must make "systematic and sustained efforts to find work" as defined in the questions "How many employers must I contact each week?" and "What are work search activities?" below.
You must also keep a Work Search Record for each week you claim benefits and be prepared to give a copy of that Record to the New York State Department of Labor when we request it.
You must perform at least three work search activities each week, although you are encouraged to do more. These three activities must be done on different days of the week. They must include at least one activity from Work Search Activities 1-5 (below). Two more activities must be completed and may be selected from the nine activities listed, unless you have a Work Search Plan (see the question "What is a Work Search Plan?" below) approved by the Department of Labor that indicates otherwise.
An Unemployment Insurance Work Search Plan is a signed individualized plan which takes into account your work experience, skills and circumstances. The plan outlines the type of work you will seek, the number and type of work search activities you will do each week and what actions you may take to eliminate any job restrictions or barriers you have to finding a job.
If you have an Unemployment Insurance Work Search Plan approved by the Department of Labor, you must do what was agreed upon in the plan and record those activities on the Work Search Record. We will check your Work Search Record to be sure you are doing what is called for in your Work Search Plan.
You must keep an online or written Work Search Record for each week you claim benefits and be prepared to give a copy of that record to the Department of Labor if we ask for it. The record must include dates, names, addresses (mail, email, or web address) and telephone numbers of employers contacted, names and/or job titles of specific people contacted, contact methods used, position or job title applied for or a description of other work search efforts (attending job fairs or workshops, etc.). We will check the information on the form with the contacts listed. Knowingly providing false statements about work search activities is considered fraud and can result in the denial of benefits.
If you choose to keep your record online, you must use our JobZone website. It provides one place where you can safely update and store all of your work search records in a secure electronic file: safe from fire, theft or accidental loss. To access your JobZone account, simply click on the JobZone work search record link provided when you claim weekly benefits online. If you certify for benefits by telephone, please call the Department of Labor's Contact Center at (800) 833-3000 for help in setting up a JobZone account.
If you do not use the online Work Search Record in JobZone, we recommend you keep a record of your work search activities each week using the Work Search Record form included in the claimant handbook. You can also keep a similar written record instead of the Work Search Record form if it includes the required information. Whatever written format you choose, include supporting documentation. For example, if you apply for a job online, print a copy of the application or the employer's acknowledgement of the application. If you send a resume or application by email, save a printed copy of all correspondence. You should also keep a copy of your sent mail log or the employer's acknowledgement of the resume or application. Other examples of documentation include printouts from online search efforts, a job fair employer list, a prospective employer's business card, etc.
You can get more Work Search Record forms at your local Career Center, get the form online, or find it in the back of the claimant handbook.
Yes. We will verify the information you provide with the contacts you list. Knowingly providing false information about your work search activities is considered fraud and can lead to severe penalties.
Yes. If you keep your Work Search Record online at http://www.jobzone.ny.gov/, your Work Search Record will be stored online automatically.
If you choose to keep a paper Work Search Record, you must keep copies for one year. Do not send your Work Search Record to the Department of Labor unless we ask you to do so. You can get more forms at your local Career Center, online at http://www.labor.ny.gov/ or in your claimant handbook.
You must be ready to accept "suitable" work while you collect benefits. Suitable work is work for which you are reasonably fitted by training and/or experience. This means that you have to look for work in all your most recent occupations, especially if the chance of getting work in your primary skill area is not good. After you have claimed 10 full weeks of benefits (13 weeks for claims filed on or before January 1, 2014), suitable work also includes:
Any work that you can do, even if you have no experience or training in such work, unless you are hired through a union hiring hall or have a definite date to return to work. Such work must pay at least 80% of your high-quarter base-period wages. Any work offered must pay the prevailing wage for such work.
You must also be willing to travel a reasonable distance to get work. As a rule, we consider a reasonable distance to be travel of:
You may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits if the weekly payments of dismissal or severance are the same as or less than the maximum benefit rate. You must notify the Telephone Claims Center if you receive or will receive dismissal/severance pay within 30 days of your last day of employment. This applies even if you receive dismissal/severance pay after you file your claim. If you do not notify us, you may receive an overpayment of benefits, which you will need to pay back. You also may be subject to other penalties.
You will not be eligible for benefits immediately if:
You receive weekly dismissal/severance payments that are greater than the maximum weekly benefit rate; or
Your employer gave you a lump sum payment and the weekly pro-rated amount of the payment is greater than the maximum weekly benefit rate.
You may be eligible to collect benefits if:
The weekly amount of dismissal/severance pay is the same as or less than the maximum weekly benefit rate; or
The dismissal/severance pay is stopped and you have enough earnings in the base period to establish a claim.
You receive your first dismissal/severance payment more than 30 days after the last day you worked.
Yes, at least while you are receiving dismissal/severance pay at that rate. However, you may be eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits when the dismissal/severance pay stops or falls below the maximum weekly Unemployment Insurance benefit rate.
No. Payments made under the New York State WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act -- Article 25-A of the Labor Law) are not considered dismissal/severance pay. The WARN Act states that Unemployment Insurance benefits may not be denied or reduced because of payment(s) received under the WARN Act.
You should file for benefits and let us determine your eligibility. However, you must call the Telephone Claims Center right away if you do begin receiving dismissal/severance pay within 30 days of losing your job. If you don't call us right away, you may receive an overpayment of benefits which you will need to pay back. You also may be subject to penalties.
Yes. If you receive your first dismissal/severance payment more than 30 days after your last day of employment, you will be able to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits if you meet the other eligibility requirements.
No. Any dismissal/severance pay you receive within 30 days of your last of employment, whether as a lump sum or in payments made to you over a period of time, may affect your benefits under Unemployment Insurance reform.
Usually, the time period covered by the lump sum payment will be clearly spelled out in your severance /dismissal pay agreement or plan. If it is not, the Department of Labor's Telephone Claims Center will determine the time period that the lump sum payment covers. They will look at your actual average weekly pay or the average weekly pay of your highest-earning calendar quarter in your base period to determine the length of time covered by the lump sum dismissal/severance payment.
The same rules apply as if you were receiving the severance/dismissal pay directly from your former employer. Important: You are considered to have received severance/dismissal pay when it is transferred from your former employer to your union, not when you actually receive it.
The severance payment is dismissal pay. What you do with the severance does not change the fact it is dismissal pay. If your severance pay exceeds your benefit rate, you would not be eligible for benefits for a period of time after filing your claim. (See "If I receive dismissal/ severance pay, will it affect my benefits?" above.)
TRA is a weekly allowance payable after your eligibility for unemployment benefits has been exhausted. In order to be eligible for TRA, you must be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits first. This means you will not be eligible for TRA if receiving dismissal/severance pay has made you ineligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Please note, however, that although you may not be eligible for benefits while you are receiving dismissal/severance pay, you may become eligible for benefits when your dismissal/severance payments end.
Yes. ATAA/RTAA provides eligible individuals 50 years of age or older who obtain a new job, with a wage subsidy for up to two years to help bridge the salary gap between their old and new employment. If you receive dismissal/severance pay, it will not affect your eligibility for either RTAA or ATAA.
If you have retired and are not looking for work, you are not eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. If you retired from a job and are actively looking for other work, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. You must meet the same conditions as all other claimants.
Your benefits will be reduced by 100 percent of the amount of the pension if your base period employer contributed to it, regardless of whether or not you contributed to the pension. If you were the sole contributor to the pension, your benefits will not be reduced.
If you become eligible for a pension while receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits, you must notify the Telephone Claims Center. If you don't notify us, you may receive an overpayment of benefits which you will need to pay back. You also may be subject to other penalties.
If your former employer is a base period employer, your benefit rate could be reduced if you received a 401(k) payment which your former employer contributed to. This would apply if you receive periodic 401(k) payments or if you are unemployed due to your retirement but remain active in the workforce, and you receive a lump sum payment. The pension reduction applies to a governmental or other pension, retirement pay, annuity or any other similar periodic payment which is based on previous work.
Effective October 1, 2013, if you purposely give false information to or withhold information from the Department of Labor to get benefits, you may be charged $100 or a 15 percent monetary penalty on the full amount of the overpaid benefits (the "overpayment"), whichever is higher.
No, the penalty is a requirement of federal law. If an overpayment occurs because you purposely gave false information to or withheld information from the Department of Labor in order to get benefits, the monetary penalty must be assessed.
No. Both a monetary penalty and a forfeit day or days may be imposed for purposely giving false information to or withholding information from the Department of Labor when there has been an overpayment of benefits. Forfeit days are days in the future when you are eligible to receive benefits, but cannot because you have forfeited your right to receive benefits for those days as a penalty.
You would receive a "Notice of Determination to Claimants for Overpayment." The Notice shows the amount of overpaid benefits, the number of forfeit days imposed and the amount of the monetary penalty assessed.
The Notice of Determination to Claimants for Overpayment gives instructions on how to send a check or money order to pay the total balance. The balance is the total of overpaid benefits and monetary penalties. The Notice will also tell you how to request a payment plan. If you send us partial payment, we will apply it first to the monetary penalty and then to the balance of any overpayment.
If you can't pay back all of the monetary penalty and overpayment at once, follow the directions on the Notice of Determination to Claimants for Overpayment form to request a payment plan. If you do not abide by the terms of your payment plan and/or pay back this debt, the Department of Labor can take all or part of your state or federal tax refund. Also, failure to repay any benefits that you received because you withheld information or gave false information to the Department of Labor may result in the Department of Labor taking legal action to file a judgment against you. Once entered, a judgment is good and can be used against you for 20 years, and your money, including a portion of your paycheck and/or bank account, may be taken. Also, a judgment will hurt your credit score and can affect your ability to rent a home, find a job or take out a loan.
The Department of Labor's Claimant Advocate Office can help you. A claimant advocate will help you one-on-one. The advocate can explain the process you don't understand and answer your questions about:
A notice, letter, questionnaire, determination or other Unemployment Insurance document that you received;
How to request and proceed with a hearing;
How to appeal a decision that you do not agree with; and
No. Our office staff are not lawyers, so they can't represent you at a hearing. However, if you cannot afford to pay an attorney or a registered representative, you may be able to get free representation from a pro bono attorney or your local Legal Aid Society or legal services program. For a list of legal resources, including attorneys, registered representatives, legal services programs and pro bono attorneys' organizations, go to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board website at http://www.uiab.ny.gov/. Click on the "Resources" tab and then click on "List of Attorneys & Authorized Agents." You may also request this list by calling (518) 402-0205.
A judgment is a lien filed with the County Clerk's office. It is used by the Department to reclaim overpayments. A lien is a legal claim on the property of another person. It remains in effect until he or she has met a certain obligation, such as the debt of the UI overpayment.
Once entered, a judgment can be used against you for 20 years, and your money, including a portion of your paycheck and/or bank account, may be taken. A judgment could harm your credit score and can affect your ability to rent a home, find a job, or take out a loan.
It may take up to 45 days to remove the judgment if you pay with a personal check. This includes the amount of time the County Clerk's office needs to process the removal. The processing time will be reduced if you pay with a certified check. A certified check proves there is enough money to pay the amount of the check.