Google revamps coronavirus-crushed unemployment system in New York

The state also added 300 workers to 700-person staff to process benefit applications

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NEW YORK — New York state is getting help from Google to overhaul a decades-old unemployment benefits system that has left laid-off workers frustrated and awaiting help.

Google helped New York design a revamped website that launched Thursday evening. The state also added 300 workers to its 700-person staff to process unemployment benefit applications.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state Department of Labor’s system has crashed because of a record-shattering surge in claims amid outbreak-related layoffs.

There have been 350,000 claims in the last week. So far, 600,000 claims over the past three weeks have been successfully processed and over 200,000 are still in partial status, according to the Cuomo administration.

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“Government shuts down the private sector economy. You have millions out of work,” Cuomo said Thursday. “The next shoe to drop is going to be millions of people call in for unemployment benefits, crashing the system that handles the unemployment benefits because you’ve had a hundredfold increase, which is what has happened.”

The state is also trying to reduce call volume by having state workers call up individuals to follow-up with incomplete applications. Previously, applicants who left fields blank were told to call the state’s unemployment system.