Unemployed New Yorkers have been encouraged to file for unemployment insurance if needed, and more than 810,000 have filed since March 9. This has created a major volume issue the New York Department of Labor has never seen before.

The application process and the phone system collapsed under the demand. This has left the jobless attempting to file scared and frantic. One spokesperson for Governor Andrew Cuomo's office shared on Thursday that they have teamed up with Google to streamline the application and handle the demand on the New York State Department of Labor website.

Work on the site should take place on April 9 from 5-7 p.m. The site will be down during this work. After the upgrades, users will fill out the application completely online, and the application will be marked finished. If the application is incomplete in any way, the Department of Labor will call the applicant. No one will need to call the Department of Labor anymore. They will be calling all applicants to follow up.

New unemployment insurance claims should be filed on certain days based on the first letter of your last name.

  • A-F file on Monday
  • G-N file on Tuesday
  • O-Z file on Wednesday

If you missed your day, it is OK! File on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

How to File:

  1. Set up a NY.gov ID and account
  2. You then will be taken to the online services information page
  3. Halfway down that page on the right side, select the tab “Unemployment Services
  4. This will take you to the page where you need to enter your Social Security number
  5. The next page will ask you to create a four-digit PIN that you will need to access all unemployment benefits online and on the phone when filing weekly. So save the number somewhere safe. It will also ask you your mother’s maiden name on this page.
  6. After entering your PIN, mother’s maiden name and doing the ‘captcha,’ you are brought to the Unemployment Services page where you can select "File A Claim."
  7. Fill out the claim completely or you will have to wait for the Department of Labor to call you about anything left blank on the application.

Things You Need to File On Your Claim:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver license or Motor Vehicle ID card number (if you have either one)
  • Your complete mailing address and zip code
  • A phone number where we can reach you from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday throughnFriday
  • Your Alien Registration card number (if you are not a U.S. citizen and have a card)
  • Names and addresses of all your employers for the last 18 months, including those in other states
  • Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your most recent employer (FEIN is on your W-2 forms)
  • Your copies of forms SF8 and SF50, if you were a federal employee
  • Your most recent separation form (DD-214), for military service

You can file a claim without all of these documents. However, missing information can delay your first payment. If you cannot print web pages, have a pen and paper to copy information. If you choose direct deposit of your weekly benefits, you need a check that has your bank routing and checking account numbers.

Reasonable Expectations:

  • Be patient. This will take time.
  • Be prepared. Once you start the process, have all the information you need to fill out the application.
  • If there is an issue setting up your initial claim, the Department of Labor will call you. You do not have to call them.
  • Once benefits are approved, you do call weekly to file that weeks unemployment claim.
  • Keep the four-digit PIN handy for your weekly filing for benefits.
  • Stay up on current events to know if anything in the process is being improved.
  • Fill out all of the application completely to improve the response time of the Department of Labor.
  • Refer to a guide to filing for unemployment on Labor.ny.gov​.