ALBANY, NY (WSYR-TV) Faced with the overwhelming surge in unemployment claims, the New York State Labor Department has implemented a new filing system based on your last name.
Based on the first letter of your last name, the labor department says you should file on:
A-F on Monday
G-N on Tuesday
O-Z on Wednesday
If you missed your day you can file on Thursday or Friday.
The department says it is experiencing an unprecedented increase in calls and online applications that causes intermittent interruptions in service.
Staff is working to minimize the disruptions.
As of noon Tuesday the labor department received 21,000 calls. The Tuesday before, the department took just 2,000 calls all day.
The spike is equally evident on the web site.
There were 110,000 website visits on Tuesday, and only 42,000 a week ago Tuesday.
The department has added staff to try to cope with the influx.
“It’s been overrun to the point of near collapse. We’ve been working everyday to continue to restore it and build it back up. There’s obviously mass volume right now but we’re working on that,” said Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Telephone filing hours have also been extended to the following hours:
Monday-Thursday, 8 am-7:30 pm
Friday, 8 am-6:00 pm
Saturday, 7:30 am-8:00 pm
From the department’s news release: “Filing later in the week will not delay payments or affect the date of an individual’s claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.”
We did request a phone interview with someone from the Department of Labor.
We were told that would not be possible today. They sent us a news release with the above information.
The release concluded: “Our dedicated staff are working as hard as we can to ensure that all benefits are paid, and we will continue to do so. We appreciate the public’s patience.”
Here is a link to step by step instructions for filing a claim.
We will update this story as soon as we can get you more answers.