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Department of Labor

How to file a claim for UI Benefits

To file an Unemployment Insurance claim by telephone, please call the NYS DOL at:
1-888-209-8124
This is the only designated phone number for our Telephone Claims Center.

If you are self-employed, you may now file for Unemployment Insurance benefits online. See the Guidance for Self-Employed Individuals.

Important Information for Unemployment Insurance Claimants:

The CARES Act was enacted on Friday, March 27, 2020. Please see the CARES Act web page for information about how the Act may affect UI benefits.

Please do not call if you already have a UI claim; it will only make it difficult for others to reach an agent.

Information regarding the CARES Act and other COVID-19 updates will be posted in the Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Insurance During the Coronavirus Emergency.

If you are filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim, the day you should apply is based on the first letter of your last name.
A - F file on Monday | G - N file on Tuesday | O - Z file on Wednesday
Missed your day? File on Thurs-Fri-Sat
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.

Here is a step-by-step process to enter online services to file a claim.

We are extending telephone filing hours as follows:
Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 7:30 pm.
Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Saturday, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm.

When to File

Promptly file your claim, in the first week that you lose your job. You must serve an unpaid “waiting period,” equal to one full week of unemployment benefits, before you receive payments. A delay in filing may cost you benefits. You can estimate your weekly benefit amount by using the benefit rate calculator on our website. Please note that the tool gives an estimate only. It does not guarantee that you will be eligible for benefits or a specific amount of benefits. You must file an Unemployment Insurance claim to find our if you are eligible and learn your actual benefit amount.

How to File

Web Service

It is best to apply for UI online. Sign in with your NY.GOV ID and follow the instructions to file a claim.  You may file your claim:

  • Monday – Thursday from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm (Eastern Time)
  • Friday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Saturday – all day
  • Sunday until 7 pm

Phone Service

Call our Telephone Claim Center, toll-free during business hours to file a claim.

  • 1-888-209-8124
  • We are extending telephone filing hours as follows:
    • Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 7:30 pm.
    • Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
    • Saturday, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm.

If you file by phone, we offer translation services. Use your phone keypad to enter the number for the language you choose.  A voice recording will offer you these choices:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin
  • Creole
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • All other languages

Things you need to file your claim:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver license or Motor Vehicle ID card number (if you have either one)
  • Your complete mailing address and zip code
  • A phone number where we can reach you from 8 am - 5 pm, Monday –Friday
  • Your Alien Registration card number (if you are not a U.S. Citizen and have a card)
  • Names and addresses of all your employers for the last 18 months, including those in other states
  • Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your most recent employer (FEIN is on your W-2 forms)
  • Your copies of forms SF8 and SF50, if you were a federal employee
  • Your most recent separation form (DD 214), for military service

You can file a claim without all of these documents. However, missing information can delay your first payment.

If you cannot print web pages, have a pen and paper to copy information.

If you choose direct deposit of your weekly benefits, you need a check that has your bank routing and checking account numbers.

Personal Identification Number (PIN)

If you have never filed a claim for benefits in New York State, you must create a PIN. This is a four-digit number that you must keep confidential.

If you need Help filing your claim

If you have a disability and need help to file your claim, you may allow another person to aid you.

  • You must be present each time they help you and use your PIN.
  • You will be held accountable for the actions of your helper. 
  • You may be subject to penalties, including forfeiture of benefits, if you are not present when your helper assists you.

Callers may ask a friend or relative to help with phone claims if they:

  • have problems with hearing or speech, or
  • have difficulty using the phone for any reason.

Hearing Impaired

Have your helper call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-783-1370.

TTY/TDD

Call a relay operator first at 1-800-662-1220, and ask the operator to call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-783-1370.

For more information, see our fact sheet: Do you help others apply or file for Unemployment Insurance?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For common questions about UI, go to our FAQs page. If you still have questions about UI or your claim, sign in with your NY.GOV ID and click on "Messages".  See NY.GOV  ID: Helpful Short Guides and Frequently Asked Questions to help you get started with NY.GOV ID.

For a recording of general information about UI, call the Tel-Service line at (888) 581-5812 and choose option 1 on the main menu.

Discrimination

It is against State and Federal law for the New York State Department of Labor to discriminate based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Political affiliation or belief

We will evaluate your claim for UI benefits and decide if you qualify, without regard to any of these factors.

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