New York is making it easier to apply for unemployment benefits during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. You may also be entitled to paid sick leave or disability benefits if you are unable to work.
Here are steps you can take now to help you and your family make it through the crisis.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits in New York State
If you have been aid off or furloughed, then you should apply for unemployment insurance benefits immediately.
Your benefit will depend on your earnings. The maximum benefit is $504.00 per week.
New York has waived the seven-day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for individuals who are out of work due to Coronavirus closures or quarantines. This means that your benefits will begin on the Monday of the week when you first apply.
You can file online or by phone. There is no need to go to a government office. You do not have to show proof that your unemployment is related to the Coronavirus.
Online: Click here to file a claim for unemployment benefits online.
By Phone: To file for unemployment benefits by phone, call (888) 209-8124 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Make sure you have all the information you need to file a claim. The information you will need is:
Also have a pen and paper or some other way to take down the information they will give you.
Paid Sick Leave Benefits
New York has some of the best paid sick leave laws in the country. Your benefits will depend on where you work.
For information on paid sick live in New York City, click here.
For information on paid sick leave in Westchester County, click here.
Potential Employer Benefits
If you are sick, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are symptomatic and cannot come to work, or if you're suffering severe mental health consequences because of coronavirus, then you should apply for disability coverage while you are still employed. Ask your human resources department how to apply.
If you are let go, ask your employer to continue your health insurance coverage. Some employers will agree to continue health insurance benefits for a month and sometimes longer in an emergency such as this. Other employers will provide a severance payment and money to pay for COBRA coverage for one to three months. You should ask.
Also check your employment contract or employee handbook to see if your employer provides any severance benefits. Many employers have a severance plan in place that can include monetary assistance and continued health insurance coverage when employees are laid off.
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John Howley, Esq.
350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor
New York, New York 10118