NY state remedying unemployment insurance nightmare

Dan Levy & WNYT Staff
Created: April 06, 2020 01:00 AM

It's an understatement to say that it's been a struggle for New Yorkers to file for unemployment benefits.

For any out of work New Yorker who has been desperately trying to file for unemployment, it's been a very frustrating experience. However, state officials seem confident that a remedy is within reach.


When it comes to understanding mindset and the emotional anxiety of New Yorkers who have been frustrated beyond wits' end trying to file for unemployment insurance, state officials think they have a pretty good idea what people have been going through.

"This volume is something that we have never experienced before and it's frustrating, and it's horrible and it's unacceptable but we just ask that people remain patient," said Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to Gov. Cuomo.

She says the state has partnered with Google and will be releasing a new interface by the middle of this week.

In addition, the Labor Department hotline hours have now been expanded to seven days a week. On top of that, 300 additional workers have been hired to handle the claims on top of the 700 extras already hired.

"Just so everyone understands, at the peak of the 2008 crisis, the single largest day of claims was 13,000 in one day. We had six times that two days ago," said DeRosa.

When the system catches up, DeRosa wants you to know your missed benefits will catch up with you, and you will get your benefits going back to the date of your actual unemployment – even if there's a lag in being able to get signed-up.

To process the overwhelming flood of claims, the state Labor Department has expanded from four servers to 50 servers.

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