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Gov. Cuomo announces proposal to boost partial unemployment benefits to New Yorkers

State of State-New York
Posted at 1:27 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 13:27:21-05

NEW YORK (WKBW) — As part of his 2021 State of the State New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a proposal to boost partial unemployment benefits to New Yorkers.

The governor's office says the plan would ensure unemployed New Yorkers who accept part-time work would have their partial unemployment benefits based on the hours they actually work rather than the number of days they work in a week.

Currently, unemployed New Yorkers' weekly benefits are reduced by 25% for each day worked, regardless of the hours worked.

"The COVID pandemic has created dual crises, putting Americans' physical health and financial wellbeing at risk — and in New York we are addressing both sides of this public health emergency. I am immediately directing the Department of Labor to change outdated rules so as we build back from the pandemic, unemployed New Yorkers aren't penalized for taking part time jobs," Cuomo said. "Encouraging part-time work will help New Yorkers get back to work quickly, give small businesses the flexibility needed to navigate these difficult times, and ensure our neighbors have money to put food on the table."

The governor's office says under this new plan New Yorkers can work up to seven days a week and still receive some unemployment benefits as long as they work less than 30 hours and earn no more than $504 in gross pay.

The method of calculation is listed below:

  • New Yorkers who work between zero and four hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive their full unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work between four and ten hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive 75 percent of their unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work between ten and 20 hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive half of their unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work between 20 and 30 hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive 25 percent of their unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work over 30 hours in a week, regardless of earnings, will not receive any of their unemployment benefit.

The state says New Yorkers will still be required to submit weekly certifications online or over the phone to receive benefits but will use a formula to convert the number of hours they work into a number of "days" when certifying.

"When totaling hours for the week, claimants should use a maximum of 10 hours per day, even if they worked more hours during a day," a release from the governor's office says.

The state says to use the following chart to determine the number of "days" the hours translate to:

Hours Worked In A Given WeekNumber of Days to Report When CertifyingPercent Reduction in Benefits
0 - 400
4.1 - 10 125%
10.1 - 20250%
20.1 - 30375%

The changes will go into place for work done on or after Monday, January 18, 2021, which will start being certified Sunday, January 24, 2021.

A Workforce Forward Strike Team will be launched to help implement this reform and support unemployed New Yorkers as well as businesses.

The state says since the start of the COVID pandemic in March 2020 it has distributed $62 billion in unemployment benefits to four million New Yorkers.