State Senator James Seward is joining others calling for an audit by the State Comptroller and a Legislative Joint Committee investigation into the state’s handling of unemployment benefit applications in the wake of the pandemic.
“At a time when individuals and families need the state to come through for them they are instead left hurting and in the dark,” said Senator Seward. “The Department of Labor has come up short in multiple ways and a security failure is one more issue to add to the list of serious violations. Many people have been waiting weeks, even months, for essential unemployment benefits to feed their families and maintain some semblance of a normal life.”
The State DOL has so far issued more $5.8 billion in unemployment benefits to around 1.5 million New Yorkers.
Another 470k have completed, processed, and payable claims but haven’t yet received some of their benefits because of one or more missing weekly certifications, which are required by federal law.
In total, those individuals would have received up to $480 million in benefits if they had completed all of their certifications.
As a response to the situation, NYSDOL launched a new streamlined process to submit backdated certifications and receive overdue benefits sooner.
According to new data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor, around 33.5 million Americans filed for unemployment over the past seven weeks – equalling out to one-in-five across the U.S.