ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — While the New York State unemployment website receives upgrades, pay raises for state workers are being deferred.
“You have millions out of work; the next shoe to drop is going to be millions of people calling for unemployment benefits crashing the system that handles the unemployment benefits,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The Cuomo Administration has been working with Google to fix the issue and bypass a phone certification. The Governor’s Secretary, Melissa DeRosa, said that as people were filling out the application online, if fields were left blank, it would direct the applicant to call into the Department of Labor, which added to the calls.
Once the new application goes online, it will be streamlined with fewer questions.
“If you successfully fill it out, it’s going to say you’re finished with the application process,” DeRosa explained. “If there’s any information that’s left blank, it’s going to say, ‘don’t call us’ we will call you within 72 hours.'”
Meanwhile, the state is also facing a $10 billion to 15 billion dollar shortfall due to the virus.
“This is more devastating to the New York economy and New York budget than 9/11 by far,” Cuomo said.
New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica said about 80,000 state workers will have their pay raises deferred for 90 days, which totals about $50 million.
“We think, at this time, it makes sense to take a pause,” he said. “The two percent raises don’t go in effect for at least 90 days. At 90 days, we’ll review it.”
“The options are: you could do layoffs of state workers, option A. Option B, you could buy some time with freezing the raises to state workers. I choose option B,” Cuomo said.
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