Unemployment: Two million New Yorkers getting paid, others still waiting

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SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) — Since New York and the nation began shutting down in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19 more than 36-million Americans were thrown out of work.

They all applied for unemployment benefits in less than a six week period, crashing state websites and call centers with the avalanche of claims.

The Cuomo Administration Monday reported that two million New Yorkers are now receiving unemployment benefits, and the state has taken care of most of the backlog of claims.

Yet, NewsChannel 9 continues to hear from viewers who have not received the promised call back from the NYS Labor Department in order to complete their benefits application or others who have had other issues and cannot get through to speak to anyone.

Cuomo, and his top aid, Melissa DeRosa addressed the status of the unemployment system at the governor’s daily COVID-19 briefing Monday in Buffalo.

Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon also talked to reporters Monday afternoon and addressed the efforts to get benefits to those who need them.

Commissioner Reardon said that during the period between March 2, and April 22, more than 1.2 million applications were submitted and approved for payment.

Another 50,000 processed in that time period were found ineligible for traditional unemployment insurance and were contacted and informed about applying for the federal pandemic unemployment assistance.

Another 15,000 are going through final processing and should be payable soon, or additional information may be needed and Reardon says the department is contacting those individuals.

Reardon says 23,000 applications from that time period have not been processed because they are missing critical information, may be duplicate applications, or applications that have been started, and then abandoned.

She says the department continues to try and reach those New Yorkers to complete their claims.

Both Cuomo and Reardon talked about the challenge of trying to get money in the hands of those desperately in need while balancing it with efforts to prevent fraud.

You can hear her complete conference call with reporters below.

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