Filing for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

UPDATED 4.3.2020

In recent weeks, the New York State Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance filing system has faced an unprecedented increase in volume – including a 16,000% increase in phone calls and a nearly 900% increase in web traffic, compared to a typical week. In order to address this surge, the Department of Labor has:

•Implemented a new, more efficient filing system based on the first letter of the applicant’s last name (alphabetical order):

A – F : Monday
◦G – N : Tuesday
◦O – Z : Wednesday
◦Missed your day: Thursday through Saturday

•Streamlined the claims process, automating additional processes and reducing the situations in which a filer has to call and speak with a representative;
•Dedicated 700 staff to the Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance Telephone Claim Center, with plans to bring hundreds of additional staff on board;
•Extended the Telephone Claim Center’s hours, including expanding service to Saturdays:

◦Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM
◦Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
◦Saturdays, 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM

•Added over 20 additional servers to support the website’s capacity; and
•Begun working with major technology companies to further improve website and call center capacity and functionality.

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo also announced the launch of a new PSA that provides information on how to apply for unemployment benefits and reassures New Yorkers if their unemployment filing is delayed, they will still receive full unemployment benefits. The PSA is also available with Spanish subtitles here .The New York State Department of Labor is dedicated to ensuring that every New Yorker who is entitled to UI benefits will receive all benefits due. New Yorkers seeking to file an unemployment insurance claim can visit or call the Telephone Claim Center at (888) 209-8124. Below are some resources that will assist New Yorkers in filing their claims:

Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Insurance

If you are self-employed, you may now file for Unemployment Insurance benefits online. See the self-employed-ui-guide.