NEW YORK STATE (WSYR-TV) — Starting at 7:30 a.m. Friday, the state Department of Labor is rolling out an improved system for filing for unemployment as millions of Americans laid off or furloughed by the pandemic line up to receive benefits and help.
The entire system was shut down at 5 p.m. Thursday to begin some critical upgrades, saying the experience should now be much more user friendly after the system would crash and lines would be inundated under the overwhelming demand.
Some changes being made by the Cuomo administration include bypassing a phone certification, meaning people no longer have to call in and wait for hours to get connected with a supervisor if they have trouble, or if they made a mistake filling out their application online. Starting Friday, if there’s any information that’s left blank, you don’t have to call. The department will call you within 72 hours.
The state is also facing a $10 to $15 billion shortfall, so about 80,000 state workers will have their pay raises deferred for 90 days, which totals about $50 million.
“We think at this time, it makes sense to take a pause. The two percent raises don’t go in effect for at least 90 days. At 90 days, we’ll review it,” said Robert Mujica, Director of Budget.
Governor Cuomo said, “The options are you could do layoffs of state workers, option A. Option B, you could buy some time with freezing the raises to state workers. I choose option B.”
From now on, you’ll be able to file online from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. to allow the labor department database to process applications.
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