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State says it has cleared unemployment backlog, but thousands still haven’t been paid

More than $9.2 billion in unemployment benefits have been issued to approximately 2 million jobless workers in New York.

The state says it’s cleared the backlog of pending claims. Yet, each time the Department of Labor posts an update about unemployment hundreds of comments follow with photographic proof of their confusing claim status.

Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon during a press call Monday admitted that PUA claims are taking longer to process.

Many of those who still haven’t received benefits are waiting on PUA money.

“These are difficult claims to process because of the nature of the income and we are working our way through it as quickly as we can,” said Reardon.

However, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top aide, who has sat alongside him at several press conferences as of late – contends that there are three core reasons why unemployment benefit claims are generally sitting in limbo.

Some are missing information, others are forgetting weekly certifications, or claims have been marked as potentially fraudulent.

“People outstanding are the exception not the rule, and DOL is working around the clock to address those issues,” DeRosa said.

State Senator Rob Ortt criticized this message coming from the state saying it seemed to shift blame on the people filing rather than the system, which is admittedly archaic.

“Basically what you’re saying is, ‘It’s not our fault, it’s the people who are applying’s fault. Either they haven’t submitted the right information or they’re trying to commit a crime,’” Ortt told Spectrum News. “Our goal has been to work with folks to make sure all the information is in, and to my knowledge there are a ton of people, thousands certainly across the state, maybe tens of thousands still who have not received their benefits and it has nothing to do with incomplete information.”



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