Unemployment filings: new process to begin Thursday night

"The system just crashed because of the volume."
Posted at 12:25 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 16:04:32-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State is revamping its unemployment process to help deal with an overwhelming amount of claims.

It's a message we've been getting a lot at 7 Eyewitness News, people saying they can't get thru to complete their unemployment claims. But on Thursday, state leaders said major changes are on the way.

During his Thursday briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave an update on the state's partnership with Google to help create a more streamlined, user-friendly approach to filing for unemployment. Governor Cuomo emphasized that all payments would be retroactive.

Melissa DeRosa, Governor Cuomo's secretary, announced that between 5pm and 7pm on Thursday, April 9, the system will go down so it can be rebooted. According to DeRosa, the new application will contain fewer questions. If anything is left blank the filer will receive a message essentially saying, "don't call us, we'll call you within 72 hours." The change is aimed at helping alleviate the call volume.

“So that people don’t have to go through the infuriating process of calling and getting busy signals and thereby collapsing the system," said DeRosa.

DeRosa also said those who have filed a partial claim no longer need to call the hotline to complete the process. They will receive a call from the Department of Labor within 72 hours.

The website will be back up and accessible on April 10, at 7:30am.

Governor Cuomo says 1,000 people are now helping process unemployment claims in New York State.

“It’s a big system that needs to change, we’re seeing the changes, but until we know those finances are coming in, I lose sleep at night and I’m sure other people do too,” said Raymond Kreuzer, who's been waiting for his unemployment benefits for four weeks.

According to recent data, the United States lost 10% of its workforce in only three weeks, with more than 6.6 million jobless claims made since March.