April 09, 2020
FACING UNPRECEDENTED SPIKE IN COVID-19 RELATED UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPLICATIONS, NYS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIPS TO BOOST TECH CAPACITY AND MAKE IT EASIER FOR NEW YORKERS TO FILE
“Tech Surge” includes Critical Upgrades from Google, Deloitte, and Verizon
New Yorkers Who Had Been Told to Call Department of Labor Should Stop — They Will Receive a Call from New York State within the next 72 Hours to Complete Their Application
Online Unemployment Insurance Application Will Go Offline Today from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM — Will Be Rebooted with New, Streamlined Application System
New Yorkers Urged to Use New Online Application System, Which can Handle Most Applications from Start to Finish Without a Telephone Call
Department of Labor’s Online Systems Now Supported by Over 60 Web Servers, up from just 4 Before COVID-19 Crisis
Call Center Now Open 7 Days a Week, with 1,000 Staff Answering Phones and Processing Claims and Plans to Add an Additional 1,200 Staffers
Every New Yorker Eligible for Unemployment Insurance will Receive Their Entire Benefit, Even if Their Filing is Delayed
Facing an unprecedented spike in unemployment insurance applications related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York State Department of Labor and the New York State Office of Information Technology Services today announced a “Tech Surge” in partnership with Google Cloud, Deloitte, and Verizon to improve the reliability of the state’s online and telephone-based unemployment insurance application systems. The Tech Surge will include critical upgrades to the Department of Labor’s technology systems that will increase its capacity to accept and process applications, making it easier for New Yorkers to apply for benefits.
Importantly, the Tech Surge will include a new, streamlined, and more reliable online application system – which will be available at labor.ny.gov. New Yorkers are urged to use the new online system, which can handle most applications from start to finish, dramatically reducing the number of New Yorkers who must speak to a claims specialist on the phone.
In addition, the Department of Labor will roll out a new “call back” system, allowing their staff to proactively call New Yorkers who need to submit additional information to support their existing unemployment assistance application. This means New Yorkers who have already filed partial claims under the old system and had been told to call the hotline to finish their application should not — instead, the DOL call center will call these New Yorkers directly.
In order to launch the new, streamlined application system, New York State’s online unemployment insurance application will go offline today between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM to be rebooted.
“I recognize that this is an extremely challenging time for all New Yorkers,” NYS Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said. “I have been unemployed. I understand the urgency. We want you to be aware of the steps that we are taking to respond to each of you, as quickly as we can. We know that your livelihood depends on it and we assure you that you will get your benefits.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the New York State Department of Labor's unemployment insurance filing system has faced an unprecedented increase in volume — with peak weeks seeing a 16,000% increase in phone calls and a 1,600% increase in web traffic, compared to a typical week.
The Department of Labor Tech Surge is providing critical upgrades to New York State’s unemployment insurance filing system during this crisis. These efforts are expected to increase capacity and reliability. Specific actions include:
In addition, the Department of Labor has:
Last week, the Department of Labor also launched a new PSA that provides information on how to apply for unemployment benefits and reassures New Yorkers that if their unemployment filing is delayed, they will still receive full unemployment benefits. The PSA is also available with Spanish subtitles here.
In addition, earlier this week Governor Cuomo announced he had directed the Department of Labor to immediately make $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits available to all New Yorkers. The additional benefits were included in the Federal CARES Act, but, unlike other states, New York began delivering the extra unemployment insurance to unemployed individuals before Federal funds are disbursed to the states. New York is also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks.
The New York State Department of Labor is dedicated to ensuring that every New Yorker who is entitled to unemployment insurance benefits will receive all benefits due. New Yorkers seeking to file an unemployment insurance claim should visit labor.ny.gov or call the Telephone Claim Center at (888) 209-8124. Below are some resources that will assist New Yorkers in filing their claims: