COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance
Apply for unemployment insurance if you are unemployed, partly unemployed, or cannot work due to coronavirus. Unemployment was expanded to cover self-employed, part-time, and other workers. Click here
for the most up-to-date information on eligibility and filing for unemployment.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
provides support for Americans who are unable to work due to the pandemic but do not qualify for traditional unemployment insurance.
Apply if you are unable to work due to the pandemic and any of the following apply to you:
- Independent contractor
- Work for an app-based company (i.e. “gig worker”)
- Diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis
- Living with or providing care to a household member who has been diagnosed
- Primary caregiver for a child unable to attend school or another facility due to COVID-19
- Unable to reach your job due to an imposed quarantine or self-quarantine advised by a medical professional
- Scheduled to start a new job but can’t reach the workplace as a direct result of COVID-19
- Became a major breadwinner because the head of the household died from COVID-19
- Quit a job as a direct result of COVID-19
- Workplace closed as a direct result of COVID-19
- Have insufficient work history and are affected by COVID-19
- Otherwise not qualified for regular or extended UI benefits and affected by COVID-19
How to File:
The best way to file a new claim for unemployment insurance is through the new online filing system
. This is only for new claims. Apply for unemployment insurance or pandemic unemployment assistance using this system.
You can also call 1-888-209-8124 Monday through Friday 8-7:30 and Saturday and Sunday 7:30-8. By calling by phone, you can get support in all languages.
When to File:
File the claim in the first week that you lose your job, to avoid losing any benefits.
What you need to file:
You can file a claim without all of the following documents. However, missing information can delay the first payment.
- Social Security Number
- Complete mailing address and zipcode
- Phone number for Department of Labor to reach you from 8-5 Monday through Friday
- 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 of your most recent number (FEIN is on your W-2 forms)
- NYS Driver license or motor vehicle ID card (if you have either)
- Alien Registration card number (if you are not a U.S. citizen and have a card)
- Copies of forms SF8 and SF50 if you were a federal employee
- Your most recent separation form (DD214) if you were in the military
When will I receive benefits?
The Department of Labor is processing applications as fast as possible. It takes 3-6 weeks from the first time you filed your claim to when you receive your first benefit. If you are found eligible, you will receive all benefits owed to you – from the first day of unemployment.
How much will I receive?
Benefits depends on your recent earnings. You will also receive an additional $600 per week until July 31st, 2020.
How will I receive benefits?
If you applied online, you selected whether you wanted to receive your benefits by direct deposit or debit card. If you applied via phone, you will receive benefits via debit card. Benefits are no longer issued by check.
Already filed? Click here
to make weekly certifications or to view your claim information. You must claim weekly benefits each week you are continue to be unemployed.
Read the top 16 most frequently asked questions here
Call the claims center at 1-888-209-8124
with any questions Monday through Friday (8-7:30 pm) and Saturday and Sunday (7:30-8 pm).
If that does not work, call the Governor’s office at 518-474-8390.