Several New Yorkers waiting for unemployment checks left frustrated as 1.1M receive aid

Frustrated doesn't even begin to describe how so many people are feeling waiting for unemployment checks.

News 12 Staff

Apr 24, 2020, 4:44 PM

Updated 1,490 days ago

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Frustrated doesn't even begin to describe how so many people are feeling waiting for unemployment checks.
The governor's office says it’s already paid $2.2 billion to 1.1 million New Yorkers, but that doesn't really matter to those who are still waiting.
Yulaika Garcia is the owner of Jiadd Esthetics in the South Bronx. She filed for unemployment on March 21, right after non-essential businesses in New York state were ordered to close due to coronavirus.
“The little funds that were available are gone, so it's either do you pay rent, pay your bills or feed your kids,” says Garcia.
Like so many other New Yorkers who have taken to the Department of Labor's Twitter to voice their anger, confusion and desperation of why they haven't received a call or why their claim still says pending for weeks.

“People are anxious, their check is what they care about,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a news conference.

The governor’s office says since the Depatment of Labor updated the callback system on April 9, and they've made more than 550,000 calls. As of Thursday, 1.4 million New Yorkers are now collecting unemployment.

The Department of Labor is already seeing historic numbers of New Yorkers who are filing during this economic shutdown. On M arch 27, Congress passed the Cares Act including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, for people like Garcia, the self-employed or gig workers, people who can't work because of COVID-19.
The state says the remaining backlog right now is mostly PUA claims

“The Feds then put out guidance that said you have to be rejected from unemployment then apply for PUA which was a complete disaster. We have streamlined that process in New York, we rolled out the new form this past Monday, which you apply one time and we make the determination of which pot you go into.,” says Melissa DeRosa, of the governor’s office.

On Thursday night, Garcia received hopeful news in the form of an urgent email from the Department of Labor with a link to a PUA-specific form.
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For those whose claims are “pending,” officials say they do not need to call, and it is being processed. The Department of Labor will reach out if there is a partial claim or if they need more information.
The governor says out-of-work New Yorkers will be paid for each week they have been out of work during this crisis, even though it is delayed.


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