Unemployment confusion for those who filed before COVID-19

These states have the lowest unemployment rate
Posted at 6:56 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 16:01:58-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 7 Eyewitness News is working to answer your questions about unemployment benefits.

A supply chain management worker was recently laid off due to COVID-19, when she hit a wall in the unemployment system she reached out to 7 Eyewitness News for help.

Christine Sokolowski, of the Village of Sloan, received unemployment insurance in late April of 2019 when she was laid off from her previous job. She's still under that original one year claim, but exhausted her 26 weeks of benefits. So when she was laid off again because of COVID-19, she turned to the CARES act. She said she tried to collect the additional 13 weeks of benefits, logging more than 200 call attempts in one week.

"I've sat for hours at a time to try and get through," she said. "And once I've gotten through I've tried every single option I possibly can, and I've been doing it for days."

She always received the message "You have been paid all the benefits due to you on this claim."

A labor department spokesperson tells 7 Eyewitness News that Sokolowski, and others in this position, will receive their benefits, and actually don't have to do anything.

Our system will automatically track individuals who are in this category. She does not need to do anything to get the letter. The NYS DOL will be sending her a letter directly with specific instructions.
Spokesperson, NYS Department of Labor

The Department of Labor would not say when Sokolowski could expect to receive the letter, leaving her still waiting to claim a critical 13 weeks of benefits.

"I have $60 left in my checking account, and I don't know what I'm gonna do," she said.

Click here to file for unemployment in New York State.