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New York State Department of Labor Employment Services

The NYS Department of Labor gives Veterans priority service in all New York State employment and training programs.
New York State Department of Labor Employment Services


The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) gives Veterans priority service in all New York State employment and training programs. This priority service is guaranteed in federal law and by the New York State Veterans Bill of Rights for Employment Services. Services include career assessment, job referrals, resume preparation, job-search planning, 55-c Civil Service positions, & more.

Additional information on DOL Employment Services for Veterans can be found on their website.

Hire-A-Vet Credit

The Hire-a-Vet Credit encourages the hiring of qualified Veterans. Businesses must employ a qualified Veteran for no less than 35 hours per week for one full year. A qualified Veteran is someone who served on active duty in the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guard, New York Guard or New York Naval Militia, and was released from active duty by general or honorable discharge after September 11, 2001. Qualified Veterans must attest that they were not employed for 35 or more hours in the previous 180 days. Businesses may earn up to $5,000 for hiring a qualified Veteran, and up to $15,000 for hiring one who is disabled.

For assistance, please call the New York State Labor Department at 1-888-4-NYSDOL or visit their website

Military Service Claim for Unemployment Benefits

If you were recently discharged from military service, you may be able to establish a claim for unemployment benefits. Applicants must meet the following conditions:

1. You completed the first full term of enlistment, except where discharge or early release was for:

  • Government convenience under an early release program
  • Medical disqualification, pregnancy, parenthood, or any service-incurred injury or disability
  • Hardship
  • Personality disorder or inaptitude (but only with a year of continuous service)


2. As a reservist, you must have had at least 180 days of continuous active duty;


3. You received your discharge under honorable conditions. If you were an officer, you did not resign for the good of the service.

The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) will base your weekly benefit rate on your high quarter earnings in your base period. DOL will base your earnings in military service on a Federal schedule that takes into account the base pay in your last grade, plus allowances for food and clothing.

Please have your most recent separation (DD form 214, Member 4) with you when you file your claim. Mail a copy of this form to the Telephone Claim Center to process your claim, full contact information can be found at the NYS DOL Website

Note: The Wage Reporting Systems does not show wages earned with the Federal Government, a branch of military service, or on work done outside of New York State. Thus, the initial Monetary Determination may not list them. Follow the instructions on the Monetary Determination for missing employment and earnings, so we can use those wages to calculate your correct benefit rate.

For additional information about Veteran Services offered through DOL, please visit their website.

Veterans with Disabilities Employment Program (55-c)

New York State wants to employ Veterans.  Section 55-c of the New York State Civil Service Law authorizes 500 positions to be filled with qualified wartime Veterans with disabilities.

Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications for the position but are not required to take an examination. Eligible Veterans are not guaranteed state employment and are not placed on a hiring list.


Eligibility does not require certification by the Employee Health Service (EHS) of the New York State Department of Civil Service. A letter of certification of a service-connected disability rating of 10% or higher from the U.S. Veterans Administration (U.S. VA) will be requested.

Any Veteran who has received the Purple Heart medal or who has a disability rating assigned by the U.S. VA of at least 10 percent is automatically eligible.

More Information

If you would like to learn more about the 55-c program, including how to apply for a 55-c Letter of Eligibility (LOE), please visit the Civil Service website.

Contact Assistance

If you need assistance, or just want to learn more about the benefits and services you may be eligible for, schedule an appointment with one of our Veterans Benefits Advisors, all Veterans themselves.

  • Call 1-888-838-7697 to speak to an advisor.
  • Schedule a phone or video consultation online.
  • Use our search to find a Services Office near you.