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How to file a claim for UI Benefits

The Unemployment Insurance Program is changing to KeyBank for debit card services. For more information, visit If you currently collect benefits on a Chase Direct Payment Card, read a letter to claimants.

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.

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
  • 8 am to 5 pm, Monday - Friday

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.


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 (NYS residents) or (888) 864-9920 (Out-of-State Residents), and choose the main menu prompt (press 1).


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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