Republican State Sen. Sue Serino is launching an online petition to highlight the need to fix the unemployment system.

What You Need To Know

  • The state has paid out $7.4 billion
  • But thousands of people say they still have not gotten their benefits
  • The Department of Labor is trying to improve its response

“Thousands of New Yorkers have gone two months without receiving a single dime in unemployment benefits,” Serino said in a statement. “These are real people, with real families to support, who are unemployed through no fault of their own. My colleagues and I are doing all we can to assist and we have offered a number of suggestions to the Governor and the Department of Labor that have gone largely ignored while claims languish and hardworking New Yorkers struggle to afford necessities."

The state has paid out $7.4 billion in unemployment benefits since this pandemic began. The state in the entire year of 2019 only paid out $2.1 billion, showing the massive volume of claims being filed every day. 

Yet thousands still are waiting for their benefits and lawmakers across the state are calling for an investigation into the state's handing of these claims.

Serino and dozens of bipartisan lawmakers, have been calling on the Department of Labor to divert more resources toward processing these claims. Serino also wrote a letter to the Governor asking that he include a daily update on the status of unemployment benefit claims and how they are being handled to help limit some of the confusion.

"It's not right, and the state needs to fix the problems plaguing the unemployment system immediately," Serino said. "New Yorkers deserve to be heard on this critically important issue and that’s what this petition is all about.”