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How do I certify for weekly unemployment benefits in New York?

Once you have filed a claim for benefits, you must also claim weekly benefits for each week you are unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements.

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How do I certify for weekly unemployment benefits in New York?
OLIVIER DOULIERY AFP

If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, you will also be required to claim weekly benefits for each week you are unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements. This is also called “certifying for benefits". By certifying for unemployment benefits, you are declaring by law that you meet the eligibility requirements to collect benefits.

Actively searching for work

Certifying is the process of answering basic questions every week that lets the Department of Labor know that you are still unemployed and eligible to continue receiving benefit payments. If you withhold or give false information to receive benefits, such as not reporting work or wages, you are committing fraud. Penalties may include disqualification for unemployment insurance, losing your benefits, and criminal prosecution.

How to make a claim

When filing a claim over the phone, you will be given your own personal identification number (PIN). It is important to remember your PIN, so write it down somewhere safe where you can find it easily as you will need it to claim weekly benefits by telephone using Tel-Service. If you forget or lose your PIN, you can reset it by calling the Telephone Claims Center - toll-free: 888-209-8124 (select the menu option: “For PIN or address changes”).

To file a claim online, you will need to set up your own, personal NY.gov account. This is different from the PIN you set up when you file a claim. Directions for creating an NY.gov ID are available at the official website: www.labor.ny.gov/signin. Note that a personal NY.gov ID account password expires after two years of inactivity on the account.

You can start certifying as soon as you receive a notification from the DOL. You must file your claim for the previous week on the last day of that week (Sunday) through the following Saturday. This is called the claim window. Any certification made on a Sunday is for the week ending that day.

How to certify your weekly UI benefits online

Go to www.labor.ny.gov/signin.

Enter your NY.gov username and password.

Click the “Unemployment Services” button on the My Online Services page.

Then click “Certify to Claim Your Weekly Benefits Here” and follow the instructions.

Note: If you are using a proxy service that makes your internet address anonymous, please turn it off when claiming weekly benefits. Otherwise, your certification may be blocked.

You will need a personal NY.gov ID to sign up for an online account. If you already have a personal NY.gov ID username and password (*not a business NY.gov ID), that will be valid on the DOL system. If you do not have an NY.gov ID, you can create one by following the instructions here: www.labor.ny.gov/signin.

If you have difficulties with NY.gov ID, call the Contact Center at 800-833-3000 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

How to certify For Weekly Benefits by Phone

The Telephone Claim Center is available toll-free during business hours to certify:

1-888-581-5812 for New York State residents. PLEASE NOTE: If you are receiving PUA benefits and you want to certify by phone, you need to call a different number. See the PUA weekly certification instructions here:

If you have a disability and need help to file your claim, another person can help you. You must be present each time they help you and use your PIN. Be aware that uou 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, have difficulty using the phone for any reason. For the hearing Impaired, your helper can call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-783-1370.

TTY/TDD: 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.

Certifying every week

You must continue to certify every week while you are unemployed in order to continue receiving benefits. Basically, you are confirming that you were unemployed for all or part of the past week and that you met all other conditions of receiving benefits.

During this time, you will be asked if you are ready, willing and able to work, and have been actively looking for work.