How to apply for unemployment assistance in New York and Pennsylvania

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(WETM) – Residents across the United States are finding themselves without employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New York and Pennsylvania residents are not alone in that.

Below are some helpful links and resources for how to file for unemployment and receive assistance if you were laid off due to COVID-19 business restrictions.

Unemployment Assistance in New York

New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines. Visit the New York State Department of Labor website for more information.

  • NYS DOL is implementing a new filing system based on the first letter of the applicants last name (alphabetical order). If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name. Visit the New York State Department of Labor website for more information.

Follow this link for step by step instructions in New York.

You can also call the NYS Department of Labor at 888-469-7365.

Unemployment Compensation in Pennsylvania

If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation (UC) or Workers’ Compensation (WC) benefits.

The following changes to UC have been made to help Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The Waiting Week is suspended. Previously, claimants were not eligible for benefits during their first week of unemployment (the “waiting week”). This has been suspended; eligible claimants may receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed.
  • Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily waived for all UC claimants. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their UC benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with

Find out more about UC and WC eligibility and how to apply.

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