ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York state is teaming up with Google to help relieve a major backlog of unemployment filings from tens of thousands of New Yorkers left jobless by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The state labor department has increased its number of computer servers from four to 50 and expanded its unemployment hotline from six to seven days a week to help process a record number of filings.
The state has also hired an additional 300 people to join the 700 workers on the receiving end of claims.
"It's frustrating, it's horrible, it's unacceptable," said Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo. "But we just ask that people remain patient."
At the peak of the 2008 economic crisis, the largest single day of claims received by the state was 13,000. The labor department had six times that volume one day last week, DeRosa said.
Regardless of when someone is able to process a claim, their benefits will be retroactive to the first date of unemployment.
The unemployment benefits hotline is 888-209-8124. Claims can also be made at labor.ny.gov/signin.
To help alleviate a high volume of calls, the state is asking people to file on the day that corresponds with the first initial of their last name: A-F (Monday), G-N (Tuesday) and O-Z (Wednesdays).