BUFFALO, N.Y. — Several 2 On Your Side viewers have sent in questions about the extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits that a lot of states have just been approved for.
When the extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits went away last month, a lot of people told 2 On Your Side that they didn't know how they were going to pay their bills, so when New York became one of the states approved for the new extra $300 a week, it was welcome news for them
"That $300 is going to help out a lot on different bills that we have, or bills coming in. Car payments and anything else that may pop up. I mean, we're, I'm 69-years-old, and basically if I have anything that I have to go to the doctor, I have to pay for myself, that's going to help," says Gary Sieczkarek.
That's the situation a lot of people are dealing with right now.
Sieczkarek had to reapply for his benefits in June and has had trouble getting them.
The New York State Department of Labor told 2 On Your Side on Wednesday that: "We are diligently working to update our systems so we can administer the Lost Wages Assistance program and deliver supplemental benefits to New Yorkers as quickly as possible."
So, we don't know when that $300 will start showing up yet in your account, but we did confirm that it will be retroactive to the beginning of August - that's benefit week ending August 2nd.
If you go to the DOL's website, you'll see a message telling you to continue certifying weekly, and it says "please do not call the DOL to inquire about the LWA program at this time."
If you have any questions, the DOL told us this week that the average wait time when you call the main number is down to about eight minutes, so you shouldn't have to try calling thousands of times to get through anymore.