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Step-By-Step Guide to File for Unemployment in NY

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You must have an active email account in order to file a claim

First you have to create a NY.govID by going to

You will be prompted to enter your name and email address. Then select/create your preferred username. Write it down, you may not remember what it is during this stressful time.

The next page will confirm the information you entered. Click finish at the bottom of the page to create your account.

You will get an email create and set your password. You will also be prompted to set security questions in case you forget the password you create. Write down your password & security questions with answers. If you do not click the link in the activation email you are sent within 48 hrs you will have to come back to the website and start over. Please check your spam & trash folders if you do not see the email.

Sign into NY.govID with the username and password you just created.

Once signed in click the button on the right side that says “Unemployment Services”

You will need to enter your social security number. Read and click the “Agree to unemployment terms”.

Begin your application:

You will be asked if you made money from your own business or being self-employed. This is important because it will affect the type of unemployment you’re eligible for. Regular unemployment (all of you) or Pandemic unemployment (not you).

You will be asked if you are eligible for a paid leave. The answer is NO

You will be asked if your job loss is due to COVID-19. The answer is NO

You will be asked if you are available to work. The answer is YES

You will be asked to enter your last day of work, employer information, including the employers tax identification number which can be found on your 2020Wage and Tax statement (W-2).

You will be asked how your employment was severed. Anything other than “lack of work”, will force the NYSDOL to mail you a questionnaire in the mail. DO NOT write on it, make a copy of it and seek information from your union as how to answer the questions. DO NOT fill out the questionnaire online.


Benefit Payment Details:

This is where you choose how you want to receive your payments. Either by “direct deposit” (the fastest way to get your benefits) or Debit card, which is not recommended. You will need your bank routing number and checking account information. This can be found on the bottom left side of one of your personal checks.

Review all your information and Submit You application for benefits.

NOTE- It is highly recommended that if you have a printer, protect yourself by Printing out each page of your claim application before hitting “continue”.


You may get a call within 72 hrs to complete your application if you accidently forgot to enter information.

You will also receive a “monetary benefit determination” form that will state your earned wages and weekly benefit rate.

The following week:

You must validate your claim the following week, anytime Mon-Sat at midnight, by certifying for weekly benefits. There are “Six (6)” simple questions to answer and you must do so each week that you are seeking benefits for.

You will certify for your benefits weekly online by signing into NY.govID and select “Certify weekly benefits here” under the Unemployment services tab.

There are several good instructional videos on YouTube with step by step instructions.


WARNING – The New York State Department of Labor has recently initiated an “identity verification program” by partnering with, a private company. They did such because domestic and foreign terrorists are stealing the identity of New Yorkers and illegally filing unemployment insurance claims in their names.  This criminal activity has occurred all across this country, costing taxpayers and states, BILLIONS of dollars.

As this is a brand new program, there will be growing pains in navigating the use of before filing your unemployment insurance claim.

You can do so by going to the direct link recommended by the NYSDOL, https://on.ny/IDme or go to, There is a great tutorial on their website that will help walk you through proving your identity. Be patient and again, document everything in writing or by printing out the information.

NEVER let your “smart device” store or remember your usernames or passwords for you, as that is one way identities are being stolen.

It is highly recommended that new unemployment claims be filed on Thursday, October 7, 2021, as week ending Sunday, October 10, 2021 is your unpaid waiting week. You actually have until Sunday, October 10, 2021 at 6:00 PM to file the new claim. This is no time to rush in and make a critical mistake that might be extremely difficult to correct.

For those that have a current NY.GOV ID account you can sign in using your username and password, but you will still have to go to to prove your identity.

Above all else, just answer the questions, do not read into the questions. Be honest with the NYSDOL as they will be contacting your employer to verify your status as an employee and the reason for your separation of employment. Penalties or defrauding the NYSDOL, whether purposely or accidentally are severe.