Department of Labor now paying more than 4 years worth of benefits

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The State Department of Labor revealed it has paid more than four years’ worth of benefits in two and a half months.

The Department of Labor announced they have paid $9.2 billion in unemployment benefits to New Yorkers since the start of the pandemic, it includes almost $290 million in back pay that was processed in the last two weeks and was unlocked through a process that makes it easier to submit weekly certifications filers may have missed.

However, the entire backlog has yet to be cleared. Governor Secretary Melissa DeRosa said several thousand applications are still being processed due to a need for more information, others due to suspected fraud.

DeRosa said the Department of Labor has been working around the clock to resolve the issues with unemployment benefits that have plagued the state during the coronavirus outbreak.

“During this pandemic, Americans are facing historically-high levels of unemployment, and no state is immune, but New York is moving quicker than other states to get money into unemployed workers’ hands. In just two and a half months, we have paid four years’ worth of benefits — and we will make sure everyone receives the benefits they are eligible for,” NYS Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said. “This back-certification initiative is an example of the creative and decisive actions we are taking to get money into New Yorkers’ hands, and so far, it has helped nearly one hundred and eighty thousand New Yorkers receive their benefits.”

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