NYS changes unemployment filing requirements

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ALBANY – The New York State Department of Labor has changed the way individuals file for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic as of March 27, 2020.  NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to COVID-19 closures or quarantines.

Individuals currently receiving benefits do not need to change the way they register for such and are encouraged not to call the unemployment office.  The State has indicated that unnecessary calls are placing an enormous strain on the system.

The New York State Department of Labor has issued new guidelines to reduce the amount of stress placed on the filing system. If you are filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim, the day you should apply is based on the first letter of your last name: If your last name starts with A – F, file your claim on Monday. For last names starting with G – N, file your claim on Tuesday. For last names starting with O – Z, file your claim on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim.

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.

The telephone filing hours have been extended as follows and can be done at 1-888-209-8124:
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 are uncertain about your qualification for benefits, more information regarding the new federal act and other COVID-19 updates will be posted in the Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Insurance During the Coronavirus Emergency.

Individuals can file for benefits online at https://applications.labor.ny.gov/IndividualReg/.