How Do I Get Unemployment Insurance?

As our city, state, and nation practice social distancing to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, millions of Americans are facing unemployment as they have been laid off or furloughed. To help all those facing unemployment, Congress has broadened eligibility for unemployment insurance to ensure that all workers — including those who are self-employed, hourly, and freelance workers — are covered and can access this much needed safety net. 


Under the CARES Act, Congress has provided an additional $600 per week for every unemployment claim, which will bring these benefits closer to a full paycheck for most filers. 


The New York State Department of Labor will immediately make $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits available to all New Yorkers with the expectation of being reimbursed by the federal government. These additional benefits were included in the CARES Act, but, unlike other states, New York is delivering the extra unemployment insurance before funds are disbursed from the federal government. New York State is also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for an additonal 13 weeks, bringing the total to 39 weeks of coverage. 


Informative chart


[1] Stimulus Check Eligibility
[2] Stimulus Payment Calculator
[3] Benefit Rate Calculator
[4] NY Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
[5] Apply for UI or PUA
[6] Recertify your claims weekly
[7] Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation


Benefits Formula:


Weekly Unemployment Benefits    =    UI or PUA    +    $600        
Total Unemployment Benefits    =    Stimulus Check    +    Weeks Unemployed    x    Weekly Unemployment Benefits




New Yorkers can file for unemployment insurance here:


The New York State Department of Labor is asking people to file for unemployment based on their last names:

Monday: A-F

Tuesday: G-N

Wednesday: O-Z

Anyone who missed can file on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

An FAQ from NYC is available here:


A fact sheet from the NYS Department of Labor available here:


**Please be aware that the New York State Dept. of Labor is fielding an unprecedented number of unemployment insurance applications at this time. For this reason, it may take longer than usual to complete claims over the phone, but the Department of Labor has assured us that everyone who qualifies for unemployment will be compensated starting from the day they became unemployed. We appreciate your patience at this time.**


**Americans who are currently abroad are not eligible for unemployment insurance. Information for those stuck abroad due to COVID-19 is available here.


More on How Do I Get Unemployment Insurance?

Mar 10, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, today voted with her colleagues to send the American Rescue Plan Act to President Biden for his signature.


The Congresswoman spoke on the floor Wednesday morning, urging all her colleagues to join her in voting to pass the bill. You can read those remarks, as prepared for delivery, here.