Filing for Unemployment

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance is temporary income for eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and who are ready, willing and able to work.

There is no local unemployment office. You file your claim from the comfort of your home or anywhere you have access to a phone or computer. All filing and certifications are done by phone or computer. You may use the phones or computers in our Resource Room to file a claim, if you wish.

Filing a Claim

Filing Online

You can file a claim through the New York Department of Labor website. Click on "Unemployment Insurance." Follow the prompts to ‘file a new claim’.

Filing by Phone

By telephone, you can file a claim by dialing 1-888-209-8124. Hearing impaired individuals who have a Telephone Device for the Deaf (TTY/TDD) may file a claim by calling a relay operator at 1-800-662-1220, and request the operator to call 1-888-783-1370. Service at this number will only be provided to people using TDD equipment.

You should file your claim in the first week that you have become totally or partially unemployed. A delay may cost you benefits.


Whether you are calling in your claim or doing it online, you will need the following:

  • Your social security number
  • Your NYS Driver’s License number if you have one
  • Your mailing address
  • A phone number where you can be contacted
  • Your alien registration card number if you have one
  • The names and addresses of all employers for whom you have worked within the last 18 months
  • Your copies of SF 8 and SF 50 if you have had federal employment within the last 18 months
  • Your copy of your most recent separation form DD 214, if you are an ex-service member claiming benefits based on your military service
If you do not have all of the documents, you may still file a claim. There may be a delay in receiving your first payment. It is important to file as soon as possible since your first week is an unpaid week, referred to as the Waiting Period.

The Department will mail you an information guide as soon as your claim has been filed.