New Yorkers Say They Cannot Access State’s Unemployment Benefits Website

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH30: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo holds his daily briefing on coronavirus update at the Javits Center also known as the Jacob Javits Medical Center powered by the New York State Guard on March 30, 2020 in New York City. Credit: mpi43/MediaPunch /IPX
MediaPunch/IPX via AP Photo

Many New Yorkers who have tried to apply for unemployment benefits on Thursday and Friday have found themselves shut-out of the state’s system, unable to complete applications, or had their applications rejected even though they met all the requirements.

The massive wave of layoffs appears to have overwhelmed New York’s unemployment benefits system. Computer glitches have stymied applications, leading many newly jobless unable to claim benefits. Busy signals or long hold times are encountered by those trying to go around the website’s malfunctions.

“I’m locked out of the website and there’s no way to get anyone on the phone to unlock my account,” one recently furloughed New Yorker said.

Newly unemployed Americans are having troubled around the country, as antiquated state systems struggle to keep up with the tidal wave of new applications. Ten million people applied for unemployment benefits in the past two weeks and millions more are likely attempting to apply now.

“Due to enormous volume our systems are slow but we are serving each and every New Yorker. Please be patient,” the New York Department of Labor’s website said Friday.

New York requires applicants to stagger their submissions based on their names. The unemployed whose last names start with the letters A through F file on Monday, G though N file on Tuesday,  O through on Wednesday. Those who miss their assigned dates can file on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

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