More than $3 billion in unemployment benefits have been distributed by the state Department of Labor since the pandemic began to the 1.4 million New Yorkers who requested help.
The money includes those who received aid under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
New York officials have worked to streamline the unemployment application process, which was hit with a wave of applicants in March and April during the economic shutdown in order to block the further spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Those efforts include adding more people to take phone calls at the Department of Labor and a Google cloud-backed website.
“Every state is facing major challenges when it comes to unemployment, but in New York we are upgrading our systems in real time while delivering benefits to New Yorkers faster and more aggressively than any other state,” Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said. “I’ve been unemployed myself — I know that losing your job is one of the most trying situations someone can face — and while there is more work to do, we have connected over one million New Yorkers with billions of dollars in benefits in just six weeks. We will keep working around the clock seven days a week to ensure every single New Yorker gets every single dollar they deserve."
Claims have been coming in at a dizzying rate. During the week of April 18 alone, 207,172 people filed for unemployment.