Getting Paid When You’re Unemployed

Unemployment Benefits

The New York State Laborers’-Employers’ Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) is committed to  helping members who are out of work get the compensation they need and are entitled to from the state.  Below are a few guidelines to remember when seeking Unemployment Benefits.

The Department of Labor bases your eligibility on the quarters before the quarter when you were laid off. There are four three-month quarters in a year:

Jan.1 – March 31 - July 1 – Sept. 30  and  April 1 – June 30 - Oct. 1 – Dec. 31

To qualify for any unemployment benefits, you must have worked in at least two of the last five calendar quarters AND have earned a minimum of $1600 in wages in one of those quarters.

When you file for unemployment, be sure to have the following documents:

  • a valid Social Security card

  • a second ID with your signature on it, such as a driver’s license

  • a copy of your Record of Employment, Form I A 12.3, from every

  • employer you have worked for in the past year, not only your most recent employer.

  • Being denied benefits could happen for many different reasons.

They include things like:

  • failure to meet the required work and wage criteria

  • voluntary quitting or misconduct

  • job refusal participation in a strike or lockout unavailability and or incapability (you must be able and willing to work) criminal misconduct.

  • Maintain accurate record of your employment. Track duration of time on a job from the start date to the end date and describe the reason for resigning or leaving a job. It is important because the Department of Labor will review all employment records in the base period.  When discharged an employee for misconduct, contributions made by the employer will not count toward unemployment eligibility or benefits.

For more information, call the Laborers’ Union toll free at 1-800-797-5931. You can apply for benefits online at or by calling toll-free 1-888-209-8124.