State fears more people impacted by unemployment insurance error

DeRosa:"We haven't identified the specific number"
Posted at 11:04 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 23:38:19-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Monday afternoon brought a Buffalo-area mom frustration, confusion and worry after she noticed someone else’s personal information mixed in with her unemployment insurance forms from the State Department of Labor.

“I don’t understand how everyone’s information is all over the place. I understand it was a human error, but that’s a pretty big human error,” Brittani said.

For her protection – she’s only using her first name.

“So that was a little stressful to know that my personal information is just floating around New York somewhere,” she said over Facetime.

Tuesday she spent the morning reaching out to the Governor’s Office with no luck. She then posted about her issue in a Facebook group called: “Help Us – NYS Unemployment Issues.” It was there a person from New York City messaged her saying she had her information. Thankful she got it back, Brittani still has questions for the state.

“Why would they have my whole entire social security number on three different pages that they sent me in the mail? Three different pages had my social security number on it!” she said.

Originally, the “human error” was thought to have impacted about three dozen people.

“As of yesterday morning that was the number, we fear that number is higher,” Secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, said at a press conference Tuesday. She continued, “We haven’t identified the specific number, they’re looking at that right now, but out of an abundance of caution everyone whose forms were printed and mailed that day are going to receive free credit monitoring for an entire year and they’re having their claims prioritized.”

As for the Western New York brothers who spoke out Monday, the two said they also reached out to elected officials for additional help.

“It’s a big mess and I just hope that the ramifications aren’t worse than the benefits,” Mike said.

A day after the Governor’s Office gave assurances it would help, Mike and Bill heard from the Department of Labor by dinnertime Tuesday.

“It was very frustrating I would’ve been pulling out my hair, but I’m already bald,” Bill said.

Although the brothers made headway, Brittani is still waiting. All three warning others to make sure to check all of the forms mailed from the department of labor just in case.

7 Eyewitness News is still waiting to hear from the State Labor Department for more answers. It’s unclear how long the investigation could last, but the Governor’s Office said this is a top priority.