Unemployment Benefits in New York

A source of income is necessary to support oneself and one’s family. Even the most secure jobs are subject to a weak economy or downsizing. It is not at all rare to lose one’s job due to layoff or termination. Finding a new position can take a while and in the meantime, you have no income. This is the purpose of unemployment benefits. These are paid by the state in which you live. Like every other state, New York has unemployment insurance available for its residents. Here are some things you should know.

Parameters for Eligibility

In order to collect unemployment benefits in the State of New York, there are three conditions that must be met.

  1. A Work History – You must have been employed for two calendar quarters within a base period.
  2. Minimum Earnings – You must have earned at least $2,600 in one of the quarters in which you worked.
  3. The base period total wages must be at least 1.5 times the total of your highest-earning quarter.

These requirements are generally easily met by any citizen who has worked steadily for a reasonable wage.

Reason for Unemployment

How you lost your job makes a difference. It has to have occurred through no fault of your own. This would include being laid off, being a victim of downsizing or if your employee goes out of business. You cannot collect unemployment benefits if you voluntarily quit or take a leave of absence. Eligibility is also denied to employees who are terminated for violating company policy, including frequent absences, latenesses or refusal to perform one’s duties. You also are unable to collect for violations of company policy committed outside of work, such as a social media post that harms the company. Being fired for stealing from the company or committing any act specified in the employee handbook or any other written statement of policy will also render you ineligible.

How to File

Should you lose your job it’s important to file within a week of termination to ensure collecting all the benefits for which you are eligible. You’ll need an ID such as a driver’s license, your social security number and information about your employers and when you worked for them. You can apply online, over the phone or in person. You will be asked questions about your employment. It can take two to three weeks to receive your first benefits, so be patient.

Losing your job is one of the more difficult of life’s experiences. If you are a New York State resident and become unemployed, file for benefits. They can help you manage until you find your next job.