In order to be eligible for New York unemployment compensation benefits, workers must meet certain state requirements for wages earned or time worked in an established period of time (usually 1 year). Workers must also be unemployed through no fault of their own. This means that if you quit your job or were fired, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Unemployment eligibility when you’re fired

If you were fired from you job, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits, dependent on your specific circumstances. If you were let go because you didn’t fit the job, there were company layoffs, or because of things like poor performance, you may qualify for New York unemployment benefits. However, if you were fired for misconduct, such as stealing, lying, failing a drug test, violating company policies and other serious actions, you may not be entitled to unemployment benefits.

If you have been fired from your job and are not sure if you qualify for New York unemployment benefits, contact New York’s unemployment office to determine your eligibility.

Unemployment eligibility when you quit

If you quit your job voluntarily, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. If you resign from your job for a good cause, you may be able to collect New York unemployment benefits. Good cause can include things like unsafe working conditions, change in job role, failure to be paid, discrimination, family emergencies or even health and safety risks.

Ultimately it is up to New York to determine weather or not you are eligible for benefits. When you file for unemployment, you can talk to New York’s unemployment office and make a case for why you should receive unemployment benefits if the employer fights your claim. If New York denies your claim, you are entitled to a hearing where you can further explain your situation.

If you have been fired from your job and are not sure if you qualify for New York unemployment benefits, contact New York’s unemployment office to determine your eligibility.

Unemployment eligibility for self-employed workers

Generally, self-employed/freelance workers who lose their income, will not qualify for New York unemployment benefits. The reason being is that when you are working for an employer, they usually contribute money on your behalf to the state unemployment fund for you to use during your transition period. If you are self-employed, most likely you didn’t pay into that unemployment fund.

However, If you are self-employed, and work under your incorporated business that pays into the state unemployment fund, you will be able to collect unemployment benefits when you find yourself out of a job.

Unemployment benefits disqualifications

Just because you are unemployed does not mean that you are automatically entitled to New York unemployment benefits. There are numerous reasons why you could be disqualified for collecting benefits. Some circumstances for denied claims could be:

  • Insufficient earnings.
  • Fired when your employer alleges misconduct.
  • Quit without a good cause.
  • Resigned because of illness.
  • Self-employed, or a contract or freelance worker.
  • Involved in a labor dispute, like a strike.
  • Left to attend school.

If you have filed a claim for unemployment benefits, and it was denied or contested by your employer, you have the right to file an unemployment appeal with the state

Work Requirements for filing unemployment

Qualifying for unemployment benefits/compensation means that you must be ready, willing, available and able to work. You must be prepared to start your new employment immediately and be mentally sound. Another work requirement to receive unemployment benefits is that you must be actively seeking employment opportunities for which you have the skills and experience to do.

Steps to determining eligibility for New York unemployment benefits:

  1. Financial Eligibility - First, to find out if you are eligible for New York unemployment benefits, you must determine if you are financially eligible for benefits. This means that you must have earned enough wages and credit weeks in employment covered by the NY unemployment laws. Services performed  by an individual in return for remuneration are acceptable and considered employment unless certain laws state otherwise. If you are self-employed you are not eligible since it does not constitute “employment” under NY unemployment laws. Once you have filed for benefits you will receive a notice stating your eligibility.
  2. Benefit Eligibility - If you have been deemed financially eligible for unemployment benefits, the next step will involve the nature of your job loss. By this it means, are you out of a job through no fault of your own? Your benefits eligibility will be based on the information you supply when you file as well as information collected from your previous employer.
  3. Maintaining Eligibility and Re-qualifying for Benefits - Another requirement for  receiving unemployment benefits involves meeting various tests on a week-to-week basis. This means that  you must be ready, willing and  able to work, not refuse employment when offered without a good cause, and if required, participate in re-employment services.

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