Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP)

SEAP : The Self Employment Assistance Program


Are you a creative, or an artisan, or budding AI tech entrepreneur? If so you may be interested in New York’s SEAP.

The Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) is a unique opportunity designed for individuals who are currently unemployed and have the dream of starting their own business. The program allows eligible participants to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits while they are working full-time on launching their own business.

The key advantage of SEAP is that it allows participants to focus entirely on their new business without having to look for jobs during this period. Further, the income generated from the business does not affect the Unemployment Insurance benefits of the participants.

The SEAP also provides support to the participants in the form of training and counseling, along with networking opportunities that can help them launch their businesses successfully.

Eligibility and Application

The eligibility to apply for SEAP includes a set of specific criteria. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and eligible to receive at least 13 or more additional weeks of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Applicants must also either be recipients of an invitation letter from the New York State Department of Labor or be categorized as dislocated workers. Prior approval for the SEAP is also a disqualifying factor.

The proposed business to be started under the SEAP program must also meet certain criteria. The business must be located in New York State, and the applicant must be willing to work full time to launch the business. The applicant should plan to be an active owner and not a silent partner in the business. The applicant must also be a first-time business owner and operator of the proposed type of business, and they must come prepared with a clear business idea.

The Application Process

The application process for SEAP involves several steps. Before applying, prospective applicants must view SEAP orientation videos. After watching these, they can log into their account and find the application under “Employment Services”.

The SEAP program requires significant time and commitment from the applicants. Before applying, applicants must have a clear idea of the type of business they want to start, as the program does not allow time to explore business ideas.

Applicants should also expect to invest at least 20 hours in entrepreneurial training and should have at least two meetings with a business counselor. The SEAP does not provide start-up funds for the business, so applicants should ensure they have sufficient funds for starting their business.


The Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) offers a unique opportunity for unemployed individuals who aspire to start their own business. The program provides financial support and resources, allowing participants to focus on their entrepreneurial dreams while still receiving unemployment benefits. However, the application process is demanding and requires significant commitment and preparation from the applicants.

Resources and References

  1. Self-Employment Assistance Program – This is the main resource page for the Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) on the New York Department of Labor’s website. It provides comprehensive information about the program, its benefits, eligibility criteria, and the application process.
  2. Applying for the SEAP – This page provides detailed information about the application process for the SEAP, including eligibility criteria, things to consider before applying, and required steps for application.

Please note that the above article provides an overview of the SEAP program as of July 2023. For the most current and detailed information, please refer to the official resources listed above.