Some answers to your questions and frustrations about unemployment benefits

COVID-19

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC). — Questions are pouring into the inbox at News 8, so we took some of your questions to our Congressman Joe Morelle.

Morelle says his office is getting a lot of calls from people asking for help.

“We are receiving right now about 110 calls from constituents a day, so just in the last month I think we processed over 2,400 constituent calls and about 40% relate to unemployment, which is of course a state program.,” Morelle said Thursday.

And he’s not surprised.

“When people are contacting their local officials there’s a frustration level, they don’t know where to go, they’re confused, they’re angry and in this case if you can’t get unemployment benefits you’re not able to feed your family or pay your bills and it puts you on the edge,” Morelle said.

 A lot of people are asking how long the benefits will last.

“What we did is we added to the state system some additional benefits for instance an additional 13 weeks on top of the state’s 26 weeks that goes into December 31, and we also added provisions that you don’t have to be looking for work, which is traditionally one of the requirements but you obviously can’t do that during the pandemic,” Morelle said.

Many are also asking how long the $600 per week benefit last.

“We passed it in the house last Friday to extend it to December 31, so the end of the year, but the Senate has not agreed yet but we hope that they will,” Morelle said.  “If someone is on the edge and they’ve done everything they can please call us we’ll do everything we can to try to be helpful.”

 One of the most asked questions is, what to do if you can’t get in touch with anyone at the state?

“I continue to urge people to call our office from anywhere in the region,” Morelle said.  “My district is Monroe, but if in outlying counties towns and villages if you’re having trouble call us.  We’ll do everything we can to try to get through and we do have special sauce we have more direct lines that we can get to people to the administration and get things through.”

The number to Morelle’s office is 585-232-4850.  You will be prompted to leave a message and expect a call back.

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