New York

The Basics of Unemployment Benefits in New York

Like many types of insurance, New York unemployment benefits can be confusing. Many people don't bother to learn much about that tiny payroll deduction, until they are no longer receiving a paycheck and it becomes need-to-know information.

New York unemployment benefits are not a form of welfare. That's a very common misconception, and can be an injurious one if pride prevents you from filing. Rather, every employer and employee pays into the state's unemployment insurance benefit fund through payroll charges and deductions. You can consider it as similar to an automobile insurance policy: you pay on a regular basis, and when your car is damaged under certain conditions, the insurance company will help pay for it. If you lose your job, you should not hesitate to claim your unemployment benefit. It's something you've paid into, and it will provide substantial financial help until you're working again.

One major benefit of unemployment, besides the money, is the freedom to look for a while. Many professionals are nervous about unemployment benefits because they believe that they will have to abandon their chosen field for a job at a fast-food restaurant. This couldn't be further from the truth. You're required to keep looking for a job, and to provide evidence of your search upon request, but receiving New York unemployment benefits does not mean you have to take any job.

You do not have to have been a perfect employee to receive unemployment benefits. Your employer may have told you that you weren't performing your job in a satisfactory manner, but that doesn't mean that you're not qualified for unemployment benefits. At the same time, however, it is rare that you can still receive New York unemployment benefits if you quit, though there are some circumstances that allow it.

When the time comes and you need to file for New York unemployment insurance benefits, you can do so online at www.labor.ny.gov. It takes only a few minutes to file your claim, and requires only basic contact information for yourself, your previous employers, your social security number, and banking information if you're doing direct deposit.


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New York