When can you expect retroactive unemployment benefits

Posted at 6:28 PM, May 12, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. — New Yorkers filing for unemployment will receive retroactive pay. The pay is for weeks they were unemployed when their claim was not yet processed.

So when Dana DiLaura of Buffalo received her first deposit of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, she was surprised to see the amount was thousands of dollars lower than what she expected. DiLaura wants to know what happened to nearly two months of retroactive pay, totaling to more than $5,000. The start date on her claim is March 9th, but her payment history shows she only received money for last week.

DiLaura said the money would make a huge difference in providing for her kids. She understands 1.5 million New Yorkers are claiming benefits, but just wants an answer on when the retroactive pay will arrive.

"Even if I know I have to push the electric bill two more weeks, at least I know that's when it's going to be," she said.

7 Eyewitness News looked into DiLaura's situation. The Department of Labor says back pay will most likely won't be deposited in one lump sum, and that people should generally expect multiple payments in one day. 7 Eyewitness News also asked how long it takes for someone to receive retroactive pay after they completed all back certifications. A spokesperson for the department said they're working on getting an answer from the unemployment office.

As of last week, 470,000 New Yorkers were missing $480 million in combined benefits. Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said it's from missing backdated certifications. The department introduced a new online process last week, emailing New Yorkers who need to certify their back pay.

But DiLaura said she already certified all her weeks, leaving her waiting on thousands of dollars in retroactive benefits.