Look though the site. Here are some helpful FAQs that I copied from the website:
Q: When should I file a claim?
A: You should file your claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment - to delay may cost you benefits. If you have worked or will work four or more days or earn more than $405 gross pay between Monday and Sunday of the current week, you must wait until next Monday to file, if you are still unemployed.
If you apply for unemployment insurance benefits today, your claim will be effective the Monday of the current week.
If you would like to request credit for a period during which no valid claim was filed, write to New York State Department of Labor, Central Support Unit, P.O. Box 15130, Albany, New York 12212. E-mails requests will not be accepted. The letter should include your name, address, telephone number, your Social Security number, the period for which credit is being requested, and the reason why a claim was not filed at that time. The circumstances will be investigated and a determination will be made regarding eligibility for benefits.
Q: What do I need to have when I file?
A: You should have available:
Your Social Security number
Valid New York State driver’s license or Non-Driver Photo Identification Card number (only if you have either one) Your complete mailing address and zip code Telephone number where we can contact you between 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your most recent employer (FEIN may be found on your W-2 forms), only if you have either Complete name, address, zip code and phone number of your most recent employer Alien Registration card number (only if you are not a U.S. Citizen) Copies of Forms SF 8 and SF 50 if you were a Federal employee in the last 18 months Copy of your most recent separation form DD214, Member 4, if you are an ex-service member claiming benefits based on your military service For web applicants only, if you are choosing to have direct deposit of your weekly benefits, you must have a check handy in order to enter your bank routing and checking account numbers If you do not have this information, you may still file a claim for benefits, although incomplete information may delay your claim and any payments due you.
Q: How do I apply for Unemployment Insurance?
A: You should apply for UI benefits using the Benefits Online Page between the hours of 7:30am to 7:30pm Monday through Thursday (Eastern Time), 7:30am to 5:00pm Friday, all day Saturday, and Sunday until 7:00pm.
You may also apply by calling our Telephone Claims Center. If you choose to file your claim by phone, an automated voice will offer you the choice of filing in English, Spanish, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Creole, or "all other languages" (translation services will be provided).
Callers who are hearing or speech-challenged or have difficulty using the telephone for any reason may also request that a friend or relative assist in the telephone claims process.
Hearing impaired individuals who use Telephone Device for the Deaf (TTY/TDD) equipment, may file a claim by calling a relay operator at 1-800-662-1220 and request the operator to call the Telephone Claims Center at 1-888-783-1370. Service at this number will only be provided to callers using TDD equipment.
Q: How is my weekly benefit rate determined?
A: Your original benefit rate is calculated on your actual high calendar quarter* wages. Your weekly benefit rate is one twenty-sixth (1/26) of the high quarter wages paid to you in your base period. Exception: if your high quarter wages are $3,575 or less, your weekly benefit rate is one twenty-fifth (1/25) of your high quarter wages. Wages are applied to the quarter in which they are paid (not earned). The current maximum weekly benefit rate is $405.
Your entitlement and benefit rate are initially established using the information that your employers have reported to the New York State Wage Reporting system. You will be sent an initial Monetary Determination based on the information in the Wage Reporting system.
If you qualify, the Monetary Determination will show your weekly benefit rate. If you do not qualify, the Monetary Determination will provide the reason(s) for your non-entitlement and instructions on what to do if the wages shown on the form are incorrect or if employment and earnings are missing.
Your weekly benefit payment is reduced by one-quarter for each day you work or are not eligible because you are not available or capable of work or other reasons. If you earn over $405 in any week, regardless of the number of days worked, no benefits can be paid to you for that week.
* A calendar quarter is the 3 month period beginning with January, April, July, and October.
1st calendar quarter: January 1 through March 31 2nd calendar quarter: April 1 through June 30 3rd calendar quarter: July 1 through September 30 4th calendar quarter: October 1 through December 31
Q: What is the maximum amount of benefits I can receive?
A: Although your claim lasts one year (your benefit year), during that time you can only receive 26 times your full weekly rate (or the same amount of money for weeks of partial unemployment).