A couple weeks ago it was learned that New York State was trying to reclaim some of the cash it sent unemployed workers in 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The New York State Department of Labor sent emails and letters to more than 166,000 New Yorkers noting that they accidentally overpaid them by $145 million.
It’s a stunning revelation that has left many New Yorkers scratching their heads.
One of those individuals, Joshua Blodgett, is being asked to repay $1,200. “We were waiting for months back then to get any sort of payment, we couldn’t get through to people on the phone it was really a hassle,” he told News10NBC.
To make matters worse, some residents- like Jason Ostrowski, who had to wait weeks-and-weeks to get any unemployment benefit that was owed to him- also had his identity compromised because the Department of Labor lost his personal information.
For those who have been asked to repay unemployment- they aren’t hearing back from the state when they inquire or challenge it. That is adding to the frustration.
The federal government issued new guidance that allows states to waive collection of the overpayments. However, a spokesperson for the DOL told News10NBC that at this point, they are only reviewing the new guidance.