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Benefit Year End (BYE) date arrives for many New Yorkers, some have trouble receiving benefits

Posted at 12:12 AM, Apr 06, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Many New Yorkers are hitting their Benefit Year End (BYE) date, and have questions for the New York State Department of Labor.

There are more than 700 comments in this Twitter thread. NYS DOL addresses some of the questions.

Not everyone is required to reapply for benefits.

People on Unemployment Insurance earning 10 times their weekly benefit rate since filing are required to reapply. Others on Unemployment Insurance, and those on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance are not required to.

This flow chart from the Dept. of Labor shows who needs to reapply.

Tim from the Town of Tonawanda, said he thought he was set based off communications from the Dept. of Labor, but after missing benefits he called to see what was wrong.

“It took me approximately two weeks, and many many hours, probably I would say, a couple thousand calls probably,” Tim said.

Tim got through to the Dept. of Labor on Monday, reapplied, and was told he'll receive his benefits on Friday. He said he wants the department to have better IT so that process could've happened sooner.

“The problem is people are looking to talk to a person," Tim said.

“Every state’s unemployment system has been tested during this crisis, but in New York we have moved mountains to connect more than 4.4 million New Yorkers with over $74.4 billion in benefits, while launching a new Google-backed application, updating our phone system, increasing communication with New Yorkers, and instituting new Federal programs before other states and we will continue to do what it takes to serve New Yorkers in need.”
Deeana Cohen, NYS DOL Spokesperson

The Dept. of Labor said it can take 2-3 weeks to process that new claim.

Click here for FAQs from the Dept. of Labor on the BYE date.

Other Western New Yorkers said they're experiencing trouble receiving benefits unrelated to the BYE date.

William McMillen of Niagara Falls said he has not received unemployment benefits since November.

“I call back frequently, at least twice a week, I got the same response, 'oh it’s being reviewed, you need this document'," McMillen said. "I said, ma’am I sent that in.”

He said the payments stopped after four weeks because the back of his social security card wasn't signed. He said he has signed the card since, but has gotten the run around for months regarding reviewing his other documents.

The Dept. of Labor says the timeline for verifying documents is different for everyone.

McMillen did said he did not expect this timeline more than a year into the pandemic.

"I mean a couple months maybe there was so many people applying at one point, but by now they should be caught up,” McMillen said.

McMillen said he spoke to the Dept. of Labor on Monday, and was told all his documents are set and he should receive benefits within two weeks. He said he's hopeful, but has also heard that before.

The Dept. of Labor said more than 4.4 million people have received $74 billion in benefits.