ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — In the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor, over 33.5 million American’s have filed for unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the State of New York, over 1.6 million residents have filed.
According to the New York Department of Labor, the state has given out $5.8 billion so far. Within the past two months, the state has paid nearly three times as much unemployment benefits as they did in all of 2019.
“We paid out $2.14 billion in the entirety in 2019,” said Roberta Reardon, Commissioner for the NY Department of Labor.
New York residents are becoming more frustrated after the lack of help they are receiving from the state’s Department of Labor. Many are claiming they have not received their benefits after being approved, being told the department would call them to finish the process but never hearing back, and applications remain pending for numerous weeks.
A federal law requires everyone to certify for their benefits each week to receive unemployment insurance payments.
“Ninty-thousand New Yorker’s who had completed, processed, and payable claims, but were not receiving funds because they had not submitted a certification,” said Reardon.
Over 470,000 residents are not receiving their payments due to not submitting their certification. On May 6, Commissioner Reardon announced the department was launching an initiative to help ensure people were getting their benefits.
Commissioner Reardon says this process would make filing for unemployment and receiving benefits “faster and easier.”
The previous process for submitted backdated certifications was only available over the phone. The Commissioner said in a press conference at call volume increased by 16,000 percent.
The Commissioner said individuals who are frustrated with the inability to speak with a person due have an online option at my.ny.gov.