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Dept. of Labor answers questions regarding extension of $300 unemployment benefit

On Tuesday, 2 On Your Side got answers to the three questions viewers have been sending us the most, regarding the extra $300 unemployment benefit extension.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The COVID-19 relief bill includes an extension of the extra $300 in unemployment benefits people were getting every week.

A lot of our viewers have questions about how that will work. On Tuesday, 2 On Your Side got answers to the three questions they've been sending us the most.

The most popular question is: will the extra $300 a week be retroactive?

The last round expired earlier this month.

Jobless will see an extra $300 Weekly Supplement and Extended Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation starting January 3. ALBANY, N.Y. - Jobless New Yorkers desperate for assistance to help pay the bills as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on will get some relief starting next week.

We took your questions to the New York State Department of Labor, and a spokesperson told us that per federal guidelines, these benefits will not be backdated and can only be provided starting the week ending January 3, 2021. 

As of right now, that extra money will be added to your benefits for the next 11 weeks.

People also want to know who qualifies. The NYS DOL told us all New Yorkers receiving unemployment benefits will get the extra $300 a week. If you're already getting unemployment benefits, you don't have to call the NYS DOL to get the extra money. Just continue certifying every week like you've been doing and you'll automatically get it.

We have also heard from a lot of people who haven't been able to connect with anyone from the NYS Department of Labor yet by calling the main number.

The DOL is saying don't call with questions about the extra money, so people with other issues can get through.

The DOL is also updating its website as it gets more info, and if you need more help, the New York State Bar Association is still helping people who've had their benefits denied. You can also call your State Senator and Assembly member.

If you have a question, you can also contact 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik.