ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — So far, New York State has paid out more than $25 billion in unemployment benefits to roughly 2.9 million people since the coronavirus pandemic began. But, in some rare cases, New Yorkers said they are still waiting to have their claims processed.
A statement from a spokesperson at the state Department of Labor says, “… In the rare case that someone has not received benefits yet, it is likely because they have a complex claim that requires adjudication, must submit additional information for their application to be processed, or have not completed federally-required weekly certifications to release their payments.”
Until Thursday, Taris Kevii from the Southern Tier was having trouble receiving his benefits. NEWS10 ABC intervened and was able to get him set up with a specialist to help him figure out what the issue was.
“I was unaware that you are supposed to apply every single Sunday for unemployment that you didn’t have a job. I just thought that you just apply once and then it just kicked in until everything opened again,” Kevii said.
He said, as someone filing for the first time, he wished the process was a bit smoother to figure out.
“If I wasn’t clear, imagine how many other people weren’t, you know?” Kevii said.
In April, the New York State Department of Labor built a new unemployment application with Google. There’s also a new automated chatbot on the website. The phone system has also been upgraded with the average wait time now reduced to about 10 minutes. There’s also info on the DOL website on how to file.
Kevii said that after speaking with the specialist on Thursday about his claim, he was told that he should be receiving his retroactive benefits on Wednesday.