NYS Department of Labor launches new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance application

State News

Visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in New York. Applications for jobless benefits are surging in some states as coronavirus concerns shake the U.S. economy. The sharp increase comes as governments have ordered millions of workers, students and shoppers to stay home as a precaution against spreading the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The Department of labor launched an application that will allow New Yorkers to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance without having to file for traditional unemployment assistance first.

Those who file will not have to call the Department of Labor, they can complete the application online by visiting unemployment.labor.ny.gov.

The Department of Labor placed 3,100 representatives dedicated to answering unemployment benefit questions and help seven days a week. That’s 400 more people answering calls than before the pandemic.

“I have been unemployed before myself, and I understand the pain, fear and anxiety New Yorkers are facing. The DOL’s mission is to help our neighbors through some of their toughest days, and in the last week we have made great strides in updating our systems,” NYS Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said. “While it appears the coronavirus pandemic is beginning to stabilize — at least from the public health perspective — we know that many New Yorkers are still facing an uncertain economic future, and the Department of Labor will continue to dedicate every resource available to helping New Yorkers weather this storm.”

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applies to the following individuals:

  • Self-employed New Yorkers;
  • Independent contractors;
  • New Yorkers who worked for an app-based company (i.e. “gig workers”)
  • Farmers;
  • Those diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have COVD-19 symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis;
  • Those living with a household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Those providing care for a family or household member diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • A primary caregiver for a child unable to attend school or another facility due to COVID-19;
  • Those unable to reach their place of employment due to an imposed quarantine or because they have been advised by a medical provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
  • Those scheduled to commence new employment that cannot reach their workplace as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • Those who became a major breadwinner because the head of their household died from COVID-19;
  • Those who quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • Those whose place of employment closed as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • Those with insufficient work history and affected by COVID-19; and
  • New Yorkers otherwise not qualified for regular or extended UI benefits and affected by COVID-19

If you cannot complete your application online or have any questions, call (888) 209-8124.

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