April 03, 2020

Unemployment Resources for NYSUT Members

Source:  NYSUT Program Services
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unemployment guide

Coronavirus: State and Federal Unemployment Resources

With the passage of the federal CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid and Relief and Economic Security), there have been many questions that have arisen in reference to unemployment insurance.

Here are some necessary resources about unemployment eligibility and how to file a claim.

Federal CARES Act


  • covers individuals whose place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, including educators
  • covers individuals who have a COVID-19 diagnosis, or are caring for a spouse, child or household member with COVID-19, including educators
  • applies to individuals who are not eligible for regular compensation or extended benefits under State or Federal law or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation

Further information:

  • allows states to extend benefits to self-employed and gig workers
  • provides for an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance = a total of 39 weeks.
  • waives 7-day waiting period
  • applies to full- and part-time workers who have been laid off
  • individuals can receive an additional $600.00/week above the states’ determination of qualifying unemployment compensation. This will be made available through emergency federal compensation through July 31, 2020
  • if you earned less than $600.00 prior to becoming unemployed due to the pandemic, you will still be eligible for the $600.00

Filing a Claim Online

To file a claim online, visit: labor.ny.gov/ui/claimantinfo/unemployment-guidance-for-teachers-and-other-school-employees.shtm

Filing a Claim by Phone

To file a claim by phone, call 888-209-8124.

If you are filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim, the day you should apply is based on the first letter of your last name:

  • A - F file on Monday
  • G - N file on Tuesday
  • O - Z file on Wednesday
  • Missed your day? File on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Telephone filing hours:

  • Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Online filing is strongly suggested. Telephone lines are extremely busy!

Any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid for all benefits due.

New York Paid Family Leave Law

In addition to the federal support, there are a variety of other programs such as the New York Paid Family Leave Law that may provide additional relief.

Coronavirus testing

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act makes free coronavirus testing available for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured.

Paid emergency sick leave

  • Under the legislation, two weeks of paid emergency sick leave will be available for those who are sick or quarantined or caring for others, or in the event of school and childcare facility closures.
  • Full-time employees are entitled to 10 days and part-time employees are entitled to the typical number of hours that they work in a typical two-week period.
  • Under the circumstances noted above, aid will be at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate to care for a family member.

Paid family and medical leave

  • Paid family and medical leave will be provided to those who have been on the job for at least 30 days, to be used for any of the following reasons:
    • o To adhere to a requirement or recommendation to quarantine due to exposure to or symptoms of coronavirus; and
    • o To care for a child of an employee if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable, due to coronavirus.

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