The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) determines your weekly unemployment benefit amount by dividing your earnings for the highest paid quarter of the base period by 26, up to a maximum of $420 per week. (If you earned less than $3,575 in your highest paid quarter, your earnings are divided by 25 to arrive at your weekly benefit amount.)
Benefits are available for up to 26 weeks. If you are still unemployed when your regular state benefits run out, you may be eligible for Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and/or state extended benefits. (See Nolo's article Unemployment Benefits: How Much Will You Get -- and For How Long? for general information on these temporary programs.)
These additional programs -- enacted to help those who became unemployed during the recession that began in 2008 -- currently weeks of benefits, depending on when you first became unemployed. These additional benefits are temporary, and have been subject to much Congressional debate. Also, the availability of certain benefits depends on the current unemployment rate in the state. Contact NYSDOL to find out which programs are in place when you apply for benefits (you can find contact information below).
You may file your unemployment claim online, at https://ui.labor.state.ny.us/UBC/home.do, or by phone. (You can find the correct telephone number at http://www.labor.state.ny.us/ui/claimantinfo/ContactInfo.shtm.)
Once it reviews your application, the NYSDOL will send you a Monetary Determination, indicating whether you meet the work and earnings requirements outlined above. If your claim is granted, you will have to request payment every week, either online or by phone, and meet ongoing eligibility requirements (for example, searching for work).
If your claim for unemployment compensation is denied because you have not met the work and earnings requirements, the Monetary Determination will let you know. You may file a Request for Reconsideration of that determination if benefits are denied or if benefits are granted but you believe the agency has omitted earnings or work history. The agency will review your request and any information you provide and may issue a revised determination.
If you are denied benefits for another reason (for example, because you quit your last job without good cause), you will receive a separate Notice of Determination. You may appeal a denial of benefits by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge, in writing, within 30 days after the date on the notice. After receiving your appeal request, a hearing will be scheduled. The administrative law judge will decide on your claim and issue a written decision.
If you disagree with the decision after the hearing, you may appeal it to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board. (You may appeal only if you attended the hearing before the administrative law judge.) The Appeal Board will review the evidence and issue a written decision. If you disagree with this decision, you may file a civil case in the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, Third Department.
The NYSDOL provides information on every aspect of the unemployment process at its website, www.labor.ny.gov; select "Unemployment Assistance" to apply for benefits online, find out current eligibility requirements and benefit amounts, learn about the appeals process, and much more.
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