The following helpful information was compiled by UAFP Legal Counsel Harvey Mars. This may be beneficial for collective bargaining unit participants who normally teach in the summer and fall but because of enrollment uncertainties may become eligible for unemployment compensation depending on an individual’s circumstances. Please note UAFP and its legal counsel are not in a position to advise individual CBU participants on such matters but the information below provides information and links to services that can be helpful.

Unemployment benefits have been extended for up to four months and the typical one-week waiting period to start receiving benefits is now waived. Weekly unemployment benefit amounts are increased by $600.

2020 Recovery Rebates: Besides unemployment benefits, adjuncts may be eligible to receive one-time cash benefit to households of $1,200 per adult ($2,400 per couple) and $500 per child. People earning $75,000 ($150,000 jointly) or less will receive the full amount. This phases-out for people earning more than $99,000 ($198,000 jointly) with no children. People with no federal tax liability will receive only $600. It is currently anticipated that funds will be sent within the next three weeks. You do not need to apply for this benefit.

Which Unemployment Benefits Do I Qualify For? Check out this flow chart courtesy of DPE, AFL-CIO.
What Do You Need To File For Benefits?
Each state sets its own unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility guidelines, but you will usually need certain information including:
• Addresses & dates of all your former jobs
• Social Security number
• Driver’s license or state issued ID card number (if you have one)

Where Do You File For Benefits?
• Federal funds will be distributed to state unemployment agencies, and all benefits are administered through your state.
• To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to generally file a claim in the state where you worked. Info on New York State unemployment listed below.
• If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states. Worked outside New York too? CLICK HERE for state-by-state resources.

More Helpful Unemployment Resources:
• Disaster Unemployment Assistance
• FEMA Disaster Unemployment Assistance
• CARES Act webinar (Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld)

Updated after the CARES Act passed 3/27/20: The following info is also available on the NYS Department of Labor site HERE. The federal CARES Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. The Act provides enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers. Here’s what you need to know.

If You Are Already Approved for UI Benefits:
• Do nothing except continue to certify weekly. Your benefits will be updated automatically. (Please do not call; it will only make it difficult for others to reach an agent.)
What you may qualify to receive:
• 39 weeks of UI benefits.
• An additional $600/week until 7/31/2020. (Payments begin 4/5/2020)

If You Are Filing a New UI Claim:
• Apply online at
What you may qualify to receive:
• 39 weeks of UI benefits.
• An additional $600/week until 7/31/2020. (Payments begin 4/5/2020)

If You Are Not Traditionally Eligible for UI Benefits:
• Check your eligibility for PUA HERE.
• If you believe you are eligible, apply online at
What you may qualify to receive:
• 39 weeks of PUA benefits.
• An additional $600/week until 7/31/2020. (Payments begin 4/5/2020)

If You’ve Exhausted 26 Weeks of Benefits After 7/1/2020 – what you should do:
• Apply online at
What you may qualify to receive:
• 13 weeks of benefits.
• An additional $600/week until 7/31/2020. (Payments begin 4/5/2020)

MORE INFORMATION FROM THE NYS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: See Frequently Asked Questions About UI During the Coronavirus Emergency.

If you are self-employed, you may now file for Unemployment Insurance benefits online. See the Guidance for Self-Employed Individuals.

Here is a step-by-step process to enter online services to file a claim.

To apply for UI benefits, file on these days: (Filing for UI benefits is based on your last name.)
• A – F file on Monday
• G – N file on Tuesday
• O – Z file on Wednesday
Missed your day? File on Thurs-Fri-Sat

Basic Info on Applying for Unemployment in NY (updated pre-CARES Act): 
The best option for the moment is for W2 employees to immediately apply for unemployment compensation. Here is a little detail on the filing procedure in New York State. Individuals employed in other states will have to consult the individual law in the states that they work within. In New York, every employer you work for deducts from your wages premiums that are paid into the NYS unemployment insurance program.

You do not need to be employed by one employer during this period of time to meet the eligibility requirements. Wages are amalgamated from each of the employers you have worked for during the eligibility period.

There are three factors to determine whether you will be eligible for benefits:
1. You must have worked for at least 2 calendar quarters (six months) in a year. This needn’t be consecutive, but an employee must demonstrate that they worked during at least two three-month periods during the last year.

2. You must have been paid at least $2600.00 in one calendar quarter.

3. Your total payment over the year must be one and a half times the amount you earned in the highest paying quarter during the year. Thus if you made $2,600.00 during your highest paid quarter your total yearly income must be $3,900.00.

If you have any doubts whether or not you qualify, you should file anyway. Your employers have already contributed on your behalf and the NYS Department of Labor will know your contribution levels. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

Further, you must specify the reason for the loss of employment. Employee misconduct, etc. is not a proper basis to request UI. Loss of work due to COVID-19 is a legitimate ground and is a justifiable basis to apply for UI. Place that reason upon your UI application.

The filing should be made against the last employer for whom you worked but understand that each of your previous employers during the last calendar year have contributed proportionally on your behalf.

Normally there is a 7-day waiting period to commence receiving benefits; however due to COVID-19, New York State has waived that period. This means file NOW!

Finally, if you are in a situation where you are unsure whether there will be a payment from an employer at this time, we encourage you to file for unemployment benefits immediately. In that case when filing for unemployment benefits you may appropriately respond that there is no severance or other post-employment compensation. However, please note that if you do obtain some payment from an employer for this period then you may be required to re-pay your unemployment benefits for just those weeks.

Access this website to submit your application:

You must create an ID and password through the NYS DOL website, but it is a much better process than waiting on line, which we can all appreciate is not a wise idea.

Independent contractors and those who are paid in cash are not eligible for UI. If you fall into that category the ERF may be an option or contact the DOL and see if other relief is available (see above).

Finally, UI benefits last 26 weeks and are available up to $504.00 per week. Part time and seasonal employees can still qualify but will receive proportionally less than the maximum benefit.

To continue to qualify for UI, you must certify that you are ready, willing, and able to work and are actively looking for work.