Where to start
Finding a job.
The New York State Department of Labor Web site (click here)
can offer the tools and assistance needed to find your next job.
It provides access to information, technical assistance, resources and funding opportunities to
help you take your first and future steps. The following can be done through the Web site:
- Search current job listings posted with the Department of Labor
- Search recent newspaper clippings about companies hiring
- Search JobZone, a free, one-stop online job search and career planning system that
helps you make informed career decisions by providing information on 900 occupations
matched with the latest labor market information from the Department of Labor (click here)
- Search for the name and addressof employers by the occupation of your choice
Job exchange. The New York State Job Exchange Web site (click here)
- Use Career Zone® (click here) to find job titles closely related to your current job by clicking on
a job title from any of six major categories, and scrolling to the bottom to find other
job titles that employ similar skills and interests
allows you to search for jobs and labor information. By signing up with the site, you can
create a resume, apply for jobs and have job listings sent to your e-mail account.
What is 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. In New York State, the money for unemployment insurance benefits comes from
taxes paid by employers. No deductions are ever made from a worker’s paycheck for unemployment
The New York State Department of Labor is responsible for a variety of programs,
including worker protection, unemployment insurance, employment services, and workforce
It can offer help in filing a claim, certifying for weekly benefits, and dealing with
hearings and appeals. It also works with the public and private sectors to create job
opportunities, offer job fairs, help workers find a job and help businesses find skilled
workers. For more information, visit www.labor.state.ny.us and click on “Unemployment
Unemployment insurance scam. There are reports of people or companies charging a fee
to help customers complete or file unemployment insurance claims. They imply that they have a
connection to the New York State Department of Labor, but they do not. The Department of Labor
provides free copies of the forms that these companies offer for a fee.
Customers in New York State should continue to file their claims for unemployment
insurance through the Web site www.labor.state.ny.us
or by phone at 1-888-209-8124. Using a paid service to file a claim will not ensure faster
Filing your unemployment claim
File your unemployment claim online at www.labor.state.ny.us
To file a claim you need:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your mailing address andzip code
- A telephone number whereyou can be reached during business hours
- Complete name, address, zip code and phone number of all employers for the last 18 months
- Your total gross earnings (pay stubs, W-2 forms, etc.) for all employers of the last 18 months
- Your copy of your most recent separation form DD-214 (for military service)
- Your alien registration card number (if not a U.S. citizen)
- Your New York State driver license or Motor Vehicle ID card number (if you have one)
To file your claim on the Web:
- Go to the New York State Department of Labor Web site,
- Click on “Unemployment Assistance.”
- Scroll down and select the option “File a Claim.”
- Read the important information. At the bottom enter your Social Security Number
and a Personal Identification Number, or PIN, which is a four-digit number that is to
be kept confidential.
- After you submit your claim, you will receive a confirmation page. Print and keep
it. The confirmation page may instruct you to call the Telephone Claims Center and
tell you how to claim your weekly benefits. You must certify for benefits every week
you are unemployed.
What to do if you are denied benefits:
If you are denied benefits, a Notice of Determination will be mailed to you telling you the
reasons why. This notice will also explain for what period of time benefits are being denied,
and how to re-qualify.
You may request a hearing on any determination affecting your rights to benefits by
writing a letter to NYS Department of Labor, P.O. Box 15131, Albany, NY 12212-5131.
The request must be postmarked or proven to have been filed within 30 days after the
delivery of the determination. Make sure you include your Social Security Number on your
hearing request and the reasons you disagree with the determination. You will be notified of
the date, time and place of the hearing by the Administrative Law Judge section after your
request has been processed.
For more information, visit the Appeal Board Web site at
Tips to help you save money.
Financial matters are often a severe source of stress for those who lose their jobs. But, like
all stress-causing factors, financial problems can be managed. First, find out where you
stand. What bills must you pay (food, rent or mortgage, utility bills, etc.)? What personal
expenses can you eliminate or postpone (dining out, new clothes, new cars, new investments)?
Dealing with creditors.
If you have a mortgage, talk with the mortgage holder about renegotiating your payments. If you are a tenant, talk to your landlord about the rent. Don’t wait until a crisis arises. People are more likely to be understanding if you communicate with them. At the same time, you may also want to contact a tenants’ rights organization to further explore your options.
If you have credit card debt and/or car payments, you may get help in planning your debt payments from a credit and debt counseling
agency for a fee. Some cities have free consumer counseling agencies or ones that charge only
a nominal fee.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
This program assists lower-income
individuals and families with heating costs in the winter. HEAP currently provides grants for
heating bills of up to $900 depending on a household’s income; family size; living arrangement;
heating expenses; type of heat; and presence of children under 6, adults 60 or over, and
disabled individuals. Both renters and homeowners are eligible for assistance.
About 800,000 families in New York receive assistance from the HEAP program each year.
Applications for HEAP assistance can be downloaded from www.otda.state.ny.us
eligibility information can also be obtained by calling the HEAP hotline at 1-800-342-3009,
county departmentsof social services or county offices for the aging.
Leave your credit cards at home. In addition, immediately call your creditors and explain your
situation. If you anticipate difficulties in paying them, arrange a payment plan or seek advice on
a consolidation loan. Always try to pay something, even if it’s below the minimum. By saving your
line of credit, you will have it in case of emergency. Pay cash for everything. That includes
groceries, gasoline and personal items. By using cash, you will avoid accumulating incoming bills.
If you are a veteran, you receive priority service in all New York State employment and training
programs. The Department of Labor has veterans’ employment representatives, who are veterans
themselves, specifically trained to assist you in transitioning from the military, finding a new
job, or starting a new career. Some of the services provided include:
- Career assessment
- Referral to jobs
- Contacting employers on your behalf
- Resume preparation assistance
- Information on federal, state and local civil service opportunities
- Job search planning
- Labor market information
- Information on direct appointment to civil service positions
- Referral to other agencies that provide services to veterans
The Federal Stimulus Plan: How it affects you
Every state in America is feeling the impact of the current economic crisis. New York has been hit especially hard. Workers from Wall Street to Main Street are losing their jobs at an unprecedented rate.
The Federal Stimulus Plan already in place has helped unemployed workers by:
- increasing benefits by $25 per week
- paying 65 percent of COBRA premiums for 9 months for eligible workers
- providing 59 weeks of unemployment benefits.
To further help New York’s thousands of unemployed, the Assembly passed legislation that became law (Ch. 35 of 2009) allowing the state to use a federal grant for unemployment compensation to:
- ensure that workers who must leave work for certain family reasons, including domestic abuse and the sickness or disability of a family member, may collect unemployment insurance benefits
- provide that part-time workers can seek part-time work to qualify for benefits
- further extend benefits for an additional 13 weeks, for a total of 72 weeks of benefits
- extend benefits an additional seven weeks when the state reaches a total unemployment rate of 8 percent or more, for a maximum of 79 weeks.
As of April 2009, the state’s unemployment rate was 7.8 percent.
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