The state Department of Labor has been overwhelmed by the flood of New Yorkers filing for unemployment benefits due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been widespread reports of busy signals and web error messages when out-of-worker employees try to file claims. The governor acknowledged the frustration people are feeling, and apologized for the inconvenience.
The DOL is hiring more staff, extending hours and adding computer servers to address the flood of claims. The department’s unemployment-claims hotline received 8.2 million calls last week compared with 50,000 in a typical week, and the website recorded 3.4 million visits, compared with 350,000 normally.
The DOL has released the following public service announcement that offers advice on how to apply for unemployment and seeks to reassure New Yorkers that despite the processing delays, they will receive all the money they are owed.
For more information about unemployment benefits, which have been extended in many cases due to the pandemic, click here.