1.6 million in NY getting unemployment, but Labor Department still trying to catch up

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ALBANY, NY (WSYR-TV) — For the second time in a week, New York’s Labor Commissioner took reporter questions about the state’s efforts to pay benefits to people thrown out of work in the past six weeks due to the coronavirus.

Commissioner Roberta Reardon says the state has paid out more than $4.6 billion in benefits to 1.6 million New Yorkers.

But NewsChannel 9 continues to hear from viewers who are without any income and are still waiting for their unemployment benefits.

The department has never faced this many claims for unemployment insurance benefits in such a short period of time.

See how COVID-19 unemployment compares with the Great Recession

Reardon says there is a misconception that some people have that everyone who files for unemployment will get a callback.

She says that’s not the case.

Only applicants who have missing information or there are other questions the department needs to be answered to process a claim will get a callback.

She says it could take at least three weeks to process claims just because of the sheer volume of applications.

Reardon says the department is working 24/7 to try and clear the backlog.

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