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DISCLAIMER: This is a compilation of resources including questions, answers, and information from the NYSBA pro bono initiative, legal research/ statutory law, and some other social media pages where people discuss common issues they’re facing with unemployment insurance. Please do not rely definitively on anything I have put in here without looking into it further, and please do not consider this legal advice.

2021 DOL Updates

includes extension of PUA and PEUC

Partial Unemployment New Rule- Governor Cuomo’s new executive order which will change the reporting process to account for HOURS worked.

See 2021 updates subpage for detailed information about all of this!

Updated PUA Minimum Amount

The previous minimum amounts of $172 and $182 have been raised to $187 as of July 2020.

Liaison Program

** IMPORTANT** ーAS OF TODAY, January 20, 2021, I’m unsure how much contact we still have and will update after a call with the DOL tomorrow.**
We have established a line of communication between the NYSBA unemployment pro bono attorneys and Governor Cuomo’s office! Please see the “NYSBA / Gov / DOL Liaison” page for details on passing along pressing / unique issues for more direct and specific solutions for clients. So far this has been a huge help.

**LWA** NEW INFO as of September 11, 2020 regarding the Lost Work Assistance (LWA) program for New York

And/or see the below text!
NYS Department of Labor Announces $300 Lost Wages Assistance Payments Will Begin Next Week
Roughly 2 Million New Yorkers are Pre-Qualified for Lost Wages Assistance and will Receive Payments Next Week
Approximately 435,000 New Yorkers Must Submit an Additional Certification to Qualify — Certification System Launches on Sept. 11, Payments Begin on a Rolling Basis Next Week (From 9/11/2020)
Actions DOL is taking to inform claimants who are eligible:
taking proactive steps to communicate directly with all 2.4 million claimants tomorrow, including:
Sending emails and text messages to all 2 million New Yorkers who are pre-qualified, informing them of their qualification and that they do not need to take any additional actions to receive the LWA benefits.
Sending emails to the ~435,000 who need to certify with the DocuSign document to certify for the LWA program.

New York has Paid $43.7 Billion in Benefits During Pandemic Emergency, Representing Over 20 Typical Years’ Worth of Benefits in Just Six Months. Expand arrow below for more info including who is eligible automatically, who may be eligible but needs to take further action, how long the benefits should last/ to how much claimants may be entitled and more!
Expand arrow for detailed information
Approximately 435,000 New Yorkers Must Submit an Additional Certification to Qualify — Certification System Launches on Sept. 11, Payments Begin on a Rolling Basis Next Week
The New York State Department of Labor today announced that payments for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, which provides an additional $300 in weekly benefits to unemployed New Yorkers, will begin next week. Up to 2.4 million New Yorkers are eligible for the program, including 435,000 who must submit an additional certification to qualify.
During the pandemic emergency, New York State has paid $43.7 billion in unemployment benefits to 3.5 million New Yorkers, representing over 20 typical years’ worth of benefits paid in just six months.
Throughout this crisis, states’ unemployment systems have been pushed to the limit and constantly-changing federal guidance — including this haphazard Presidential executive order — have only delayed our efforts to get benefits to New Yorkers in need. But we have worked day and night to stand up this program, and millions of New Yorkers will see payments next week,” Commissioner Roberta Reardon said. “We are emailing all New Yorkers who are receiving benefits to inform them of their status and, if needed, provide information about certifying for the Lost Wages Assistance program. All New Yorkers should keep an eye out for these messages and, if an additional certification is required, respond immediately.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released funding for the first three weeks of LWA benefits to New York State, covering the benefit weeks ending August 2nd, August 9th, and August 16th. The DOL estimates that up to 2.4 million New Yorkers may be eligible for the benefits from those weeks, including recipients of both traditional unemployment insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Approximately 2 million New Yorkers are pre-qualified and will receive payments starting next week. The remainder — roughly 435,000 New Yorkers — must submit an additional certification to qualify.
Of the estimated 2.4 million New Yorkers who may be eligible: (CLICK ARROW TO EXPAND!!)
Approximately 2 million are already qualified for the LWA program because they indicated on their initial benefit application that their unemployment was connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. These claimants: **CLICK ARROW TO EXPAND**
Do not need to take any further action;
Will receive LWA payments starting next week; and
Will receive an email and text message from DOL informing them they have pre-qualified for LWA.
Roughly 435,000 need to submit an additional certification confirming that their unemployment is related to COVID-19 to qualify for LWA benefits, as required by the federal government. These claimants: (CLICK ARROW TO EXPAND!!)
Can certify starting Friday, September 11th either online or via phone:
Online: claimants will receive a secure DocuSign email from the DOL on September 11th, with a link to certify for LWA benefits
Phone: claimants can call to certify via an automated phone system
Will receive payments starting next week if their certification is submitted by 5pm on September 15th — after that, payments will be released on a rolling basis.
Eligible New Yorkers will receive LWA payments of $300 per week for the weeks ending August 2nd, 9th, and 16th. Under federal rules, New York State may be eligible for additional weeks of LWA funding.
According to FEMA, funding for the LWA program will continue until any of the following occur: (CLICK ARROW TO EXPAND!!)
1. The federal Disaster Relief Fund balance falls below $25 billion
2. The $44 billion set aside for the LWA program is depleted;
3. Congress enacts a replacement unemployment relief program; OR
4. If none of the above scenarios occur before December 27, 2020, funding will terminate on that date.

Fact Sheets and New Information from the DOL

Representatives from the DOL provided us with updated fact sheets and some new information. This can be found on the “DOL Fact Sheet” subpage.
Topics Covered on the fact sheets include:

returning to work

general UI and PUA claims (FAQ)

determining the status of claims

Keybank debit cards

forfeit days and offsets

communications from the DOL.

Please continue checking back, as I am making frequent updates as I acquire more helpful information.


Be sure to visit the informative subpages which contain further helpful resources and will be updated periodically to include new information.
1) An employment attorney and friend of mine, Vincent White, graciously created Youtube videos to answer some of our initial questions. Please contact me if you have a particular topic you'd like him to discuss, as he has generously agreed to address issues we may encounter going forward.
2): A member of the volunteer group spoke with the chief of staff of a senator in upstate NY and I included it on a subpage.
**Additional resources are being added regularly and links to all subpages can be found at the top of the page.**
Here are the links:
Unemployment: Initial FAQ
My client successfully applied X weeks ago and hasn't heard back. What should I advise?
Have Patience. DOL is getting through their backlog. (See twitter)
Have you checked your mail? The mail is really important.
Have you been answering your phone? UI will call from a "private number" (make sure not to ignore it!). Answer your phone! Yes, they call on Sundays, so answer your phone!
Has your employer received their notice of claims? (Obviously only works if your employer is still working and available.)
Possibly contacting state legislators.
keep calling DOL.
call DOL on client's behalf.
apply again/repeatedly.
2. My client made a mistake on the application. What should I advise?
Answers (Click arrow for two options)
Client should use the UI app's messaging system - this may result in a suggestion to call. Unfortunately, this seems to be the scenario in which calling is necessary.
Alternative: Send a letter to the NYSDOL at :NYS Department of Labor, PO BOX 15130, Albany, NY 12212-5130
3. My client applied for both PUA and UI (before app was streamlined) and hasn't heard back.
I think this is in the patience category as well. These will be more difficult for UI staff to sort and I expect they will take some time on these confused applications.
4. My client was denied and I need to request a hearing.
Let or help the client apply for themselves and you can help with the hearing when it happens. The NYSDOL notice of decision has a form on the back for requesting a hearing.

5. My client used to work in NY and moved elsewhere and didn't start working in the new state before The Closing started. What do I advise?
Apply in NY.
6. My client used to work in NY, moved elsewhere, started a new job and then The Closing started. What do I advise?
Apply in new state.
7. My client is self-employed -
The answers are in the text of the CARES Act, the regulations), and in the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program law & regulationss.

Useful links and resources:

NYS UI Claimants Handbook. Literally the most useful item for newbies to UI (PDF). (click the arrow below)

CLICK ON THE ARROW TO LOAD THE PDF "Unemployment Insurance A Bridge to Your Next Career (it's so long it's easier for the page to load this way)

CARES Act Information

CLICK ON THE ARROW TO LOAD THE PDF (it's 331 pages so this is for site functionality)

Employment and Training Administration Advisory System (PDF)

This link can't be embedded.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance quick reference/ Fact Sheet (DUA is what PUA is based on) (PDF)

DOL info
On the issues concerning forfeiture and related issues, this link will take you to Appeals Board decisions that may help the pro bono client,
**Please note the above forfeiture information applies to BEFORE May 13, 2020.
On the issues of Good Cause, voluntary v. involuntary separation from employment, these cases have been very helpful,

The End of $600 FPUC Payments+ UI and PUA extension- DOL announcement

Under current federal guidelines, this is the last benefit week for $600 FPUC payments in New York.
When you submit your weekly certification between Sunday 7/26 & Saturday 8/1, you will be certifying for your final week of FPUC.
This may change if Congress takes action to extend Americans' unemployment benefits.
We will provide all updates on our website and social media. Please do not call our call centers to inquire about FPUC extensions, so those who need assistance with their claims can get through.
In addition, we announced last week that UI & PUA had been extended:
➡️ Traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits are now extended for up to 59 weeks
➡️ Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits are now extended for up to 46 weeks
More information on these extensions:
To continue receiving your UI or PUA benefits, continue to certify every week. There is no need to reapply or contact the NYS DOL, unless your benefit year has expired.
Certify online at or by calling 1-888-581-5812 (for UI) or 1-833-324-0366 (for PUA).

Extended Benefits and PEUC info

UPDATE: The Extended Benefits (EB) program is now in effect in NYS.
Thanks to the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) & EB programs, New Yorkers receiving traditional UI are now eligible for up to 59 weeks of benefits – up from 26 weeks before the pandemic. Details:
In addition, under federal law, those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are now eligible for up to 46 weeks of benefits in NYS – up from the original 39 weeks.
More information:
–To be eligible for EB, you must first exhaust all 26 weeks of traditional UI and all 13 weeks of PEUC benefits and continue to be unemployed.
–Alternatively, if your benefit year for UI expired after July 1, 2019, and you received 13 weeks of PEUC, you may be eligible for EB.
–New Yorkers who qualify for these programs do not have to reapply – just continue to certify weekly.
–If your benefit year has expired, you must file a new claim. The system will advise you if you are in this situation.

*A fact sheet on EB and PEUC will be added by tomorrow (July 26 2020)

Forfeit Day Penalties

*also see the “Fact Sheets & Info from the DOL” subpage for information on this subject.

*May 13 Press release suspension of forfeiture day penalties*

Direct link to NYSDOL Press Release:
*** NEW: 📢 The DOL announced emergency measures to ensure unemployed New Yorkers who have been assessed forfeiture day penalties will receive benefits during the COVID19 pandemic. ***
Unemployed NYers with only forfeiture days on their accounts will immediately begin receiving $600 weekly FPUC payments, including back pay through the program's launch on April 5. They will also begin receiving UI or PUA benefits they would otherwise be eligible for in ~2 weeks.
Relevant content / info of announcement (click arrow to expand)
Department of Labor announced emergency measures to ensure unemployed New Yorkers who have been assessed forfeiture day penalties will receive benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. These actions, which suspend forfeiture days for the duration of the pandemic emergency, will allow more unemployed New Yorkers to receive financial support during this unprecedented crisis.
The Department of Labor is announcing emergency actions to provide relief for New Yorkers who have been assessed “forfeiture day” penalties, which, under Federal and New York State law, prevent individuals who knowingly claimed more unemployment benefits than they are eligible for from receiving future benefits for a specified number of days. For every four forfeiture days someone is assessed, that person must forfeit a week of future unemployment benefits.
Recognizing that many New Yorkers currently unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic lost their jobs through no fault of their own and have limited options to find employment, the Department of Labor is providing immediate relief by suspending forfeiture days during the pandemic emergency. This will help more New Yorkers receive the financial support they need during this crisis.
Unemployed New Yorkers with forfeiture days on their accounts have already begun receiving the $600 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments. In addition, individuals with forfeiture days will now receive the traditional unemployment insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits they would otherwise be eligible for. These payments will begin in approximately two weeks and will include back pay through [May 13, 2020]. Those with other flags on their accounts, including child support payments and offset payments to reimburse the state for benefits they improperly received, will see payments reduced to continue to re-pay amounts owed.

Before the May 13 press release (info applies prior to May 13)

Question 1
I have a situation in which a claimant has been denied benefits on the ground that he has not exhausted his forfeit day penalties and therefore also is ineligible for the $600/week CARES benefit. I understand that there has been legislation introduced in the State Senate (S8275) and Assembly (A10348) to suspend penalties during the pandemic, to allow people to receive UI benefits for a period of time, but I do not know the status of these bills. I also understand that the DOL itself is considering making modifications. Apparently, there are online discussion groups addressing this dilemma and at least one organization, called the Workers Defense League, that has weighed in. I have not seen anything regarding outcomes on any of this, however.
Calculation of forfeit days (info applies to before the May 13 press release)
Question 2
- My immediate question is whether anyone knows how "forfeit days" are calculated? I appears that these are imposed when applicants have provided inaccurate information in prior applications, and are imposed in addition to requiring repayment of benefits and assessment of monetary fines. But as best as I can tell, the actual number of forfeit days imposed is up to the investigator that handled the matter. In the case I am addressing, the number is 72 forfeit days, which seems like a lot. Does anyone know whether there are any guidelines that the Department of Labor is supposed to follow for setting the number of forfeit days? Or, can anyone suggest someone who might have experience with this issue and would be willing to advise? Thanks very much.
Pandemic unemployment compensation and unemployment insurance - issues related to forfeiture and overpayment BEFORE THE MAY 13 PRESS RELEASE
Question 1
One of my clients is in the following circumstance and I am not quite sure how best to guide him, as I am still familiarizing myself with how the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation mechanism works.
My client applied for UI and was approved ~5 weeks ago. Unfortunately, he was slapped with a forfeiture penalty, as the state claims he was previously overpaid. While my client has made his peace with this assessment, his chief concern is that he has yet to receive any funds in accordance with Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which he believes he is entitled to, given that he's been approved for UI and was merely assessed a penalty for state benefits.
Answer (Pre- May 13 press release) : I would write to the DOL on his behalf and request PUA immediately.
Question 2
In 2019 my client began receiving UI benefits (July -November). At some point, she was overpaid and told she would have to repay the amount overpaid along with a penalty. Although she entered into a payment plan she failed to make any payments to NYS. It's still unclear as to whether she stopped receiving her benefits because of this overpayment. In March of this year, she worked for two days for a temporary agency, became ill, and was told not to return to the agency until she was well. In April, she filed for unemployment and attempted to collect on her remaining 44 days of benefits. To date, she has not received a UI check.
Are clients not receiving benefits because of a previous overpayment and penalty? I've advised her to continue certifying and contact DOL, but like most others, she's been unable to reach anyone
Here is the DOL's FAQ on over payments and penalties/forfeit days:
If she has over payments and penalties, she likely has been dinged with forfeit days.
Follow up Question about the above:
I did see that she would be required to forfeit some days. Her overpayment amount is $169 and her penalty is $100, which means that her first two weeks of benefits would have been used to repay NYS. At this point, if I'm reading the FAQ's correctly, it would seem she should be paid up and once again able to receive benefits.
I have not come across anything that shows movement on the pending legislation to waive forfeit days
Answer **applies to BEFORE THE MAY 13 press release**
If she was approved but has forfeit days, that is indicated in a chart like form with the benefit amounts, the amount of forfeit days, and the amount of benefits remaining. This information is located on the weekly notice of benefits the claimant receives from NYSDOL.

Debts ie) child support / Forfeit Days **Applies to BEFORE THE MAY 13 PRESS RELEASE** (click on arrow to expand)

Info: (Click arrow to expand)
NYC Legal Aid staff reported that the NYS DOL is currently requiring applicants to pay back past debts before receiving regular UI AND taking half, $300, of the $600 per week extra FPUC. As of July 2020 it is confirmed that deductions like these have been made from claimants who owe child support (50% deductions from the federal $600 payments along with higher deductions from regular UI and PUA payments.
Benefit hearings restarted in May 2020, though there is a backlog of thousands of cases. Claimants appealing a DOL determination cannot receive benefits until an ALJ rules on the case. The recommendation for clients is to keep certifying for benefits each week; same for people who haven't received a determination yet.

Bank card with 0

Just got finished talking with my client and he mentioned something about getting a bank card in the mail with 0 balance on it in relation to the pandemic. Has anyone else had a similar experience? If so, what are the next steps?
Generally the claimant has to call Key Bank to activate the card – did your client already do that?
After you with the Department of Labor, you should receive your debit card in the third week of your claim. If there are any issues on your claim, it may take longer.
For security reasons, you will receive your debit card in a plain white envelope. Please watch for it in the mail. Do not throw it away (even if you sign up for direct deposit).
When you receive your card, call KeyBank Customer Service at (866) 295-2955 to activate it.

Card came with 0; person is eligible for UI as well then got one time payment of $600 but still no UI
OK this is my situation I got one of those key 2 benefit cards sent to me when I looked online two days ago there was a zero balance! I woke up this morning it was $600 but I’m confused my claim has been valid since March 9, 2020 shouldn't I be getting all that back pay plus my weekly benefit rate plus the 600 a week????
Answer (Click arrow to expand )
See above--must contact Key Bank to activate payments. I watched a news reporter do a question and answer thing with unemployment and she said that the people who randomly got $600 got it as money to hold you over. It wasn’t your unemployment payment or the extra $600. They possibly didn’t even get your claim done yet. But the reporter said that it’s good news because they have your information and they’ll be getting you your money shortly.


Can anyone verify if the hearings are being held? My assignment had been awaiting unemployment benefits prior to the pandemic closures, was denied and had a hearing date of March 17, 2020, which was cancelled. She has not been able to get the hearing rescheduled yet. Is anyone aware of a way to get an expedited hearing at this point?
Thank you.
Answer: As of now hearings are being held via telephone conferences; before May 18th no hearings were taking place. There is still a backlog due to the initial delay in restarting hearings, so the process may not be as quick as usual. Generally only a few days notice is provided when claimants learn their hearing dates, so it is advantageous to prepare in advance accordingly.

Mistakes on application (ready/willing, SSN)

NOTE: check the video subpage for more information on this subject. There is also a video regarding the use of affidavits when fighting for unemployment.


The client submitted her online application for unemployment compensation and mistakenly represented that she was not able and willing to work. She misunderstood the question. Apparently, the DOL subsequently revised the website to clarify that the question should be answered "yes" notwithstanding that work in the field is nonessential during the pandemic. The client was denied benefits and demanded a hearing. Is there a mechanism for revising her application for benefits? Thanks for any assistance.
Newer answer :
anyone experiencing this should consider participating in the liaison program referenced above to expedite the process of resolving this type of issue. Otherwise see additional answers / info below.
This has been a huge problem. I've spoken with at least 10 people (not NYSBA pro bono related) who have answered this question wrong thinking that since their place of business is closed they aren't ready able and willing to work.
It's a poorly worded question on the application that is meant to weed out people who should apply for disability benefits not unemployment benefits.
I don't think there is anyway to amend the application through the DOL's website. I **think** you can try and do it over the phone talking to a UI specialist. But as you may be aware, calling the DOL right now is an hours long wait and people are using robo-dialers to constantly call 5,000 times per day.


I saw an earlier post that short of calling the Claims Center (who is not answering the phone), the only way to make a correction to a UI application is to send a correction request letter to Albany. Before I draft that letter, I just want to confirm there is not quicker way.
I have a client who was denied 7 weeks ago because she answered "yes" to the telework question, thinking the unemployment office was offering her a job. She has tried calling the Claims Center multiple times a day for weeks now with no luck. She also tried messaging them on Facebook.
Similar Question
Thank you for raising this issue. I also have a client facing this and wonder whether a correction request letter to Albany is our only option. My client's PUA application has been denied but he is still awaiting a determination of his UI application.
Newer answer : please consider utilizing the liaison program referenced herein to resolve issues of this kind and expedite the process. Otherwise see other answers below.
Answers (apply to both questions)
I haven't seen a quicker way. There was a thought that you could do it through email in the portal, but when clients have tried to do that they get a message to call DOL or write a letter.
I understand that this was unprecedented, but we could have been so much more useful to assist people in the actual filing of the claims. I've come across at least 15 people who were trapped by the "willing and able to work" because they answered no because of COVID
Further Information on Resolving (From UI Handbook- Online, Phone)
According to the UI Handbook, if the client made an error on the application:
Online: Go to . Enter your username and password. Click on the envelope icon at the top right corner of the page. This will bring you to your message inbox. Click on the menu button (the square with three lines). Select "Compose New." Select Subject: "Certifications and Payments." Select Second Subject: "I made a mistake when I certified for benefits. How do I correct it?" In the body of the message, explain the mistake.
Telephone: Call Telephone Claims Center
Portal Resolution (worked for at LEAST one client; click arrow to collapse)
My client just got a very quick resolution of his mistaken answering of a question about eligibility for PUA. He sent an email on the portal with the subject line as "Eligibility for Benefits." In the text, he stated he misunderstood the question (which is "Are you able to telework with pay for the same hours of your customary job?") and answered "Yes" instead of "No." He received a call from the Department of Labor the next day, and was able to file his PUA claim.

Follow up q re: mistakes on applications for PUA

Would the process be the same for an error on the PUA?
Also, if a client is able to reapply for normal UI, and then is again denied, will that restart the process for applying for PUA? I'm just wondering if that process would be quicker than trying to get someone on the phone or wait for a message to correct an application.
Answer :
The process for correcting PUA mistakes seems similar although the DOL has updated the website and phone system to better serve the separate types of claims. Additionally, please consider using the above referenced liaison process to expedite unresolved claims.

Incorrect SSN entered by employer

I also have a situation in which there was an error in the claimant's application (the employer put the wrong Social Security number on the claimant's W-2), resulting in the denial of benefits. Does anyone know whether there is a mechanism for requesting correction of simple errors of this kind and for following up on the resolution of the problem without filing a request for a hearing and waiting for a hearing to be conducted and decided?
Answer 1
If the claimant doesn't have the card he/she can request one from the SSA. Also his former employer if willing should issue a corrected W-2.
Answer 2
There's no mechanism to do it online, which is absurd. Once the application is submitted, there is no way to revise it.
I think it can be done by talking to a specialist over the phone who can change it manually, they may ask for a SS card to be faxed or emailed to them through the portal.
Calling the DOL right now is nothing short of a nightmare. People wait on hold for hours and use auto dialers to call up to 5,000 times per day to try and reach someone.
Answer 3
Calling governor office first
I have seen people report that calling the Governor's office first and then they get connected to a claims specialist that way.
A great resource for information for seeing what people are dealing with, as depressing as it is, is the Facebook group HELP US - NYS Unemployment Issues.
As practitioners, we can learn a lot from seeing what other people post about their experience with the DOL.
It's been getting a little bit better lately with some PUA applicants finally getting money but there are still hoards and hoards of people in pending purgatory for 7 weeks

Required to send more information

Proof of authorization to work in USA
I have been out of work since March 14th. After a week of trying to fill out claim forms I was able to do it. It was accepted but keeps telling me it's pending. Last week i received the $600.00 but this week I didn't get it.
I received a letter in the mail that they need documentation of authorization the work in the U.S.A. They gave me a list of things that are acceptable proof of employment authorization. Some of them are
Certificate of U.S Citizenship (INS Form N560,Certificate of Naturalization INS form 550, permanent or temporary resident card, and a whole lot more.
I do not have anything that they are asking me for because I was born in the U.S. and have never left this country.
I sent them a letter with my birth certificate, my marriage license, driving license and my social security cards, one in my maiden name and one in my married name.
Has anyone else had a problem like this?
Answer: in the particular situation above, it appears that likely the claimant was asked for that information in error. This could likely be rectified with a conversation with a DOL agent.
**In general when the DOL requests further information, claimants should send it immediately with a return receipt requested and get in contact with the DOL if they’re unclear or don’t have any of the items requested to avoid issues with their claims.**

Questions about clients with incomplete claims who can’t reach claims office

Does anyone have a client who completed and submitted their claim and got a note back stating that their claim is not complete and to call the Claims office--and of course no one answers after multiple tries! Any advice how to move this claim forward?

Info on changes to the DOL phone system

Newer Answer: We have been advised by our contacts at the DOL that wait-times should no longer generally be this long and are usually 5-10 minutes (although claimants still sometimes report long wait times). Additionally, changes have been made to the DOL’s phone systems allowing claimants to choose specific categories based on the reason for their calls/ issue with their claims.
For example, claimants are able to select whether they’re calling about a UI claim or a PUA claim and to select other details to help them get though to someone best equipped to help with their particular issues.
Claimants may also specify if their call is about backpay to separate their phone call from claimants calling who have yet to receive a determination on their claims or any payments.
*attorneys with clients still experiencing long wait times and not getting through should consider using the liaison program mentioned above to expedite the process!*
Other Answer:
Keep calling. It may take an hour but they do pick up

Denial: 2 jobs- 1 full time temporary position & a part time bartender position

One of my clients was working a full time 6 month temp job and a part time bartending job. Temp job ended in December 2019. He was fired from his bartending position in February though he claims it was a wrongful termination. He can not find another job now due to COVID so he filed for unemployment and was denied based on his termination from the part time bartending job.
He has filed for a hearing and is waiting for a hearing date. Did DOL use his part time job as the deciding factor because the other one was temporary? Considering he did not lose either job to COVID but cannot find a new one due to COVID (and claims he was wrongfully terminated from the PT job anyway) is there anything he can do other than wait for a hearing date?

Hearings usually needed to resolve employer/ employee conflict as to the reason for termination

It is likely this claimant would have to wait for the hearing to resolve the issue between him and his employer on whether it was a wrongful termination.

Temporary positions generally can be used when determining eligibility for unemployment benefits.

However, temporary positions, unless specifically identified as an exception in the claimant handbook, can still be used when determining if a claimant is eligible for benefits. In the instance above, even if the claimant was not eligible for PUA because the job losses were unrelated to COVID, depending on the income from the temporary position, he may: 1) be eligible for regular unemployment benefits or 2) be eligible for PUA if his income from that job is insufficient to qualify for unemployment benefits.

Receiving minimum amount because included small W2 salary instead of higher 1099

If someone is receiving unemployment due to covid termination and included their (small) W2 salary so is only receiving the minimum NYS unemployment amount. But they also had received 1099 income (this contractor role also ended due to covid), can they somehow add that 1099 income amount to get a higher weekly amount? How would they do this?
There is a place on the form to report independent contractor income when they apply. They will be asked for copies of their Schedule C to prove income.

Client Left The Country but Didn’t Misrepresent and is now being denied benefits (awaiting answer)

1. I have a client who applied for unemployment in December. She lost her job as a restaurant manager at that time. She left the country to visit her father from January 5 through March 3. The unemployment insurance told her she did not read the handbook and willfully misrepresented herself that she was ready, willing and able to work when she cannot apply unless she is in the US or US territory.. She just got paid basically from April to present, but was penalized for her March payments. She did not willfully misrepresent as she did not have someone put claims in for her, nor did she lie to them about leaving the country when she asked. She could put her claims in because she was blocked due to being in a foreign country. She did not know about that. Nothing was willful.
We can't get through unemployment to straighten it out. In addition she was trying to get employment in NY while overseas. However, that fell through because the restaurant closed due to Corona.
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