The New York State Department of Labor says you could be missing out on unemployment benefits if you're not taking one critical step: weekly certification.

New York State says after you apply for unemployment benefits, both regular and the special pandemic unemployment assistance, you still need to certify each week to access the benefits.

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When Should You Certify?

Once you've filed for unemployment, and your claim status changes from "pending" to "payable" - you'll know this because you'll receive an email and/or a letter from the Department of Labor.

According to the Department of Labor website,

  • For the purposes of Unemployment Insurance, a week runs from Monday to Sunday.
  • 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 Do You Certify Your Claim for Benefits?

You can certify your claim online or by phone.

Online:

  1. Go to www.labor.ny.gov/signin.
  2. Enter your NY.gov username and password.
  3. Click the “Unemployment Services” button on the My Online Services page.
  4. Then click “Claim Weekly Benefits” and follow the instructions.

By Phone:

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

1-888-581-5812 for New York State residents, Hearing Impaired 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.

What To Expect After You Certify

The Department of Labor says you can expect to see your first payment within 2 to 3 weeks after you claim is approved. Once your claim is approved, you will receive any back payments owed to you.

You should keep certifying each week that you are still unemployed.

For further information, see the Department of Labor website.