Department of Labor: 90,000 New Yorkers who filed for unemployment missed this important step

State News

CHILI, N.Y. (WROC) — At least 90,000 New Yorkers who filed unemployment insurance claims were stuck with their applications pending. The governor’s secretary said it’s because they didn’t certify their claims.

“What we’ve found in the last couple days is a lot of people that have been in pending status have not gone on and certified their pending status which is separate from the application,” said Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to Gov. Cuomo, during the governors COVID19 briefing Monday.

The Governor’s team said that the Department of Labor sent an email this weekend to the 90,000 people who’s application was stalled because they missed this step.

“So you file the application, you do the phone call, you process through. But then you have to go into the website and account and certify that you’re unemployed and that’s something you have to do every single week by Saturday,” said DeRosa.

MORE | Error at NYS Department of Labor sends personal info to wrong people

Federal law requires every American filing for unemployment insurance to certify weekly in order to receive benefits. This certification confirms that the individual meets all the conditions for receiving benefits, including that they were unemployed for at least part of the last pay week and that they were willing and able to work.

The DOL announced today that they’ve launched a campaign to help make sure New Yorkers understand this certification process. They say that as long as you included an email on your application you should be receiving an email from them which goes into more detail.

The DOL clarified the following about the certification process in a press release today.

When to Certify:

  • You can begin certifying when your application switches from pending to payable. You will know this because you will receive a letter and an email from the DOL (as long as you provided an email on your application)
  • For Unemployment Insurance, a week runs Monday through Sunday
  • New Yorkers need to submit certifications within a “claim window.” For a given week the claim window runs from the last day of the week (Sunday) though the following Saturday.
  • Certifications made on Sunday are for the week ending that day.

How to Certify:

  • New Yorkers are encouraged to certify online. The DOL says this is the fastest and easiest method. You can certify at
  • To certify, enter you username and password.
  • Navigate to the My Online Services Page, click the “unemployment services” button
  • Click “claim weekly benefits” and follow the instructions.

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