NYSDOL partnership offers solution to handle influx of unemployment claims

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FILE – In this Wednesday, March 18, 2020 file photo, Visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns in New York. Americans are seeking unemployment benefits at unprecedented levels due to the coronavirus, but many are finding more frustration than relief. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) is working with digital giants Google, Deloitte, and Verizon to help handle the vast amounts of unemployment claims in the state. They said it will also make applying for benefits easier for New Yorkers.

The system will be down Thursday from 5-7 p.m. to perform critical upgrades to its technology system. The upgrade will increase its capacity to accept and process applications. The DOL said a new more efficient online application system will decrease the need for New Yorkers to speak to a representative. The DOL will also implement a call back system that allows claims representatives to call people back if they need to submit additional information.

“Earlier today, the Department of Labor announced that its online unemployment insurance application would shut down at 5:00 PM to allow for critical upgrades as part of their comprehensive ‘Tech Surge.’ Every evening, this online system closes from 7:00 PM to 7:30 AM to allow the DOL’s database to process applications. As we are currently migrating to a new system today, applications will be accepted beginning at 7:30 AM tomorrow. When New Yorkers log in to the Department of Labor’s system tomorrow, they will find a new, improved and more user-friendly application allowing them to better access the benefits they deserve,” said DOL Communications Director Dani Lever in a statement.

“New Yorkers are urged to use the new online system, which can handle most applications from start to finish, dramatically reducing the number of New Yorkers who must speak to a claims specialist on the phone,” said the DOL.

“I recognize that this is an extremely challenging time for all New Yorkers. I have been unemployed. I understand the urgency. We want you to be aware of the steps that we are taking to respond to each of you, as quickly as we can. We know that your livelihood depends on it and we assure you that you will get your benefits,” NYS Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said.

The DOL has also expanded its call center hours to include weekend hours:

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The updated filing system will be based on the first letter of the applicant’s last name (in alphabetical order):

  • A – F : Monday
  • G – N : Tuesday
  • O – Z : Wednesday
  • Missed your day: Thursday through Sunday

If you are one of the New Yorkers who was told to call the state to finish your application, you will receive a call within the next 72 hours with steps on how to complete it. Note, you do not need to call the department, they will call you.

New Yorkers can file an unemployment claim online here.

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