Coronavirus prompts NY to update unemployment application process as many lose jobs

The max benefit an individual can now receive in the state is more than $1,100

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New York state – which has been hit particularly hard by the U.S. coronavirus outbreak – has issued new guidelines for certain individuals filing unemployment claims in the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s secretary said in a Twitter post on Thursday that residents who already filed partial claims under the old system do not need to call the hotline to finish their application. The state’s Department of Labor will call these individuals directly within 72 hours.

CBS’ "60 Minutes" recently highlighted difficulties New Yorkers were having trying to call the hotline, which they needed to do to complete their application. Cuomo apologized for the stress it was causing applicants, acknowledging that it must be “infuriating to deal with.”

His office said the hotline received 7.8 million calls last week.

Cuomo also assured residents that “hundreds” of people, as well as companies, were working to address another issue: website overload.

“The site is so deluged that it keeps crashing because you literally have hundreds of thousands of people at any time trying to get on the site and it continues to crash,” Cuomo said during a press conference this week.

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As previously reported by FOX Business, the state recommends that you submit your application on a designated day based on the first letter of your last name.

Once your application does get processed, you are on the hook for getting more cash thanks to new legislation approved by lawmakers.

Under the $2 trillion legislation, additional emergency benefits will be provided to each recipient. In dollar terms, on top of state benefits, eligible Americans can receive an additional $600 per week for as many as four months.

The bill provides for an additional 13 weeks offered by the federal government after state benefits are no longer available through the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. That means for a state with 26 weeks of coverage, the total would be extended to 39 weeks.

In New York, the max benefit an individual can receive after the CARES Act boost would be $1,104.

According to data from the state, 345,000 residents filed for unemployment last week. Meanwhile, another 6.6 million Americans around the country filed for unemployment last week – meaning nearly 17 million have done so over the past three weeks.

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The outbreak is hitting New York state -- specifically the greater New York City area -- far harder than any other part of the country.

As of Thursday, New York had nearly 160,000 confirmed positive cases. New York City had more than 87,000 cases.

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Cuomo has said that social distancing efforts in the state are working as the number of hospitalizations begins to decline.

New Yorkers seeking to file unemployment claims can visit labor.ny.gov.

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