New York State Freedom of Information Law

Requesting Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board Records
New York State Freedom of Information Law
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Overview

The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), Article 6 (Section 84-90) of the NYS Public Officers Law, provides the public right to access to records maintained by government agencies with certain exceptions. 

“Record” means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for this agency, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes.

Please note that the agency is not required to create a new record in response to FOIL requests.

Requesting Records from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

You may request any UI Appeal Board record under FOIL, but certain records or parts of records may be withheld if there are personal privacy or other legal reasons under federal or state law. Requests should be made by fax or mail and contain the file case number information identified below. The UI Appeal Board does not currently accept electronic requests for records.

Requesting Your Own UI Appeal Board Records:

A request for your own UI Appeal Board records in a case that is still pending (not completed) is not a FOIL request. You can call the office listed at the top of your Notice of Hearing or Notice of Receipt of Appeal and request to view your case file or request a copy.

 

If you are requesting your own UI Appeal Board records in a closed case, you must provide:

  • Your name
  • Your ALJ or AB case number case number that appears on your notice of hearing or your decision document
  • A specific description of the record(s) you are requesting including the time period covered by the request).
  • Your notarized signature or a copy of your driver’s license or equivalent proof of identification containing your signature.
  • A preference for whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you. Include your e-mail, mailing address and fax number, as well as a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours, if it is necessary to clarify your request.

Requesting Another Person’s UI Appeal Board Records:

If you are requesting the UI records of someone other than yourself, you must provide the following:

  • Your name
  • The name and ALJ hearing or AB number of the individual whose records you are requesting
  • A specific description of the record(s) you are requesting including the time period covered by the request).
  • An authorization signed by that individual allowing you to obtain that individual’s records. The authorization must:
    • Contain a notarized signature of that individual
    • Specifically, state that the UI Appeal Board is permitted to release his or her unemployment insurance records to you
    • State the purposes for which the records will be used, and
    • State that the records will be used solely for that purpose, and no other
  • A preference for whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you. Include your e-mail, mailing address and fax number, as well as a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours, if it is necessary to clarify your request.

It is not necessary to cite the FOIL statute when requesting records.

 

Mail your written request to:

Records Access Officer
Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
PO Box 29002
Brooklyn, New York 11202-9002

 

Fax a written request to: (718) 613-3566.

 

Submit a request for records in person:

FOIL requests may be made in person at 250 Schermerhorn Street, 4th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Advise Security Staff that you would like to request records. Security Staff will contact the Records Access Office, and a staff member will provide assistance.  Please be advised records require review prior to disclosure. As a result, documents and records will not be immediately available.

FOIL Process

Within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, we will send you a letter either: making such record available; denying such request in writing; or acknowledging the receipt of such request.  If you do not receive a letter within five business days, please contact us at (718) 613-3566.

An acknowledgment letter will provide you with an estimate of when the records you request will be available, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request. This date is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time it takes to redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL and other laws, the time it takes to assemble the documents, and other factors. 

If the records you request require a fee to be paid, you will be notified prior to the records being released to you. Public Officers Law §87(1) authorizes an agency to charge a fee of 25¢ per copy for copies of records up 9”x 14”, or the actual cost of reproducing a record. In determining the actual cost of producing a record, an agency may include only:

  • an amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare the requested record(s), if at least two hours of agency employee time is needed to prepare a copy of the record request;
  • the actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; and
  • the actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, if such service is used to prepare the copy.
     

Once the requested records are prepared, you may receive the records via email, fax, paper, or CD/DVD.  Records are available for inspection, by appointment, on business days between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Records Access Office, 250 Schermerhorn Street 4th floor Brooklyn New York 11201.  You may schedule an appointment for in-person inspection of records by calling (718) 613-3566.

Right to Appeal

Under provisions of the Public Officers Law you may appeal a FOIL determination.  If you desire to submit such an appeal, you must do so within 30 days of the written response to your FOIL request. Please include a copy of the original request for records and a copy of the FOIL response letter you received along with your appeal letter to: 

UI Appeal Board Chair

P.O. Box 15126
Albany, NY 12212-5126

 

You will be informed in writing of the decision within ten business days of our receipt of such an appeal. 

Subject Matter List

The following is a current list of records, by subject matter, that are maintained by the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.  Some of the listed records may be exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law. Also, NY Labor Law § 537, specifically provides what UI information shall be used for and the requirements that must be met for its release and contains criminal penalties for the improper release of UI information and records. Access to records may also be affected by NY Labor Law § 620(3), § 622 (2) and 12 NYCRR § 461.4 (i).  The texts of NY Labor Law § 537, § 620(3), § 622 (2) and 12 NYCRR § 461.4 (i) are available on our website at uiab.ny.gov/

Helpful Tips

For more information about FOIL, please visit the New York State Committee on Open Government’s website.