New Yorkers struggle to get unemployment amid surge in claims


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As unemployment continues to reach historic highs, the number of people laid off due to ‘stay-at-home’ orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic may actually be higher.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office said on Thursday 1.4 million New Yorkers are collecting unemployment.

There’s still a backlog of of claims due to a surge in the system.

“They said they’ll contact me within 72 hours. I never got a contact,” said Rok Loftfield.

Loftfield was laid off at his job at a college dining hall on March 6.

He normally is laid off during breaks in the school’s schedule. With the spring break coinciding with the ‘stay-at-home’ order, his layoff became indefinite.

“Thankfully I have a cushion. I mean, that might be able to hold us for another month or two. If I had to pay rent then it would be gone,” Lotfield said.

Loftfield’s landlord is working with him and his growing family during the pandemic. He has two kids under six and a baby expected in the next few weeks.

Governor Cuomo addressed concerns about the clogged unemployment system on Thursday with his secretary Melissa Derosa.

“They just passed a law. It goes into effect March 27. We have to figure who’s eligible, how it’s administered and then get a check out the door,” Cuomo said.

“We just ask people to remain patient. We’ve now put 3,000 people on this issue and we’re going to pound the phones and do the data input until it’s all complete and everyone has what they need,” Derosa said.

Loftfield said he should be able to last a couple months on the savings he and his wife have, but anything more maybe too much.

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