ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Department of Labor announced that since the COVID-19 pandemic started it has paid out over $10 billion in unemployment benefits to more than 2 million residents. The backlog of claims that were filed prior to 4/22 has been reduced to 7,580.
The department said that many of claims that are backlogged are missing critical information, are duplicate applications or have been abandoned. An additional 20,801 claims have been processed, but can't be paid out until federally-mandated weekly certifications have been submitted.
"No one could have predicted the wave of unemployment applications that crashed over the United States because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and every state is struggling — but New York has moved faster than any other state to address our backlog and get money into New Yorkers' hands. To date, we have paid out over $10 billion dollars during this crisis, compared to just $2.1 billion in total last year," said NYS Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. "Those claims that have been outstanding for weeks are ones that we simply cannot process — we have already attempted to contact all of these New Yorkers, and we will continue to try get in touch with everyone who applied so we can connect them with the benefits they are eligible for."
The department said the majority of information include a Federal Employer Identification Number. Over 15,000 applicants are in the final processing phase, which checks for fraud or identity theft.