Governor Cuomo announces unemployment system upgrades

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ALBANY, NY – As efforts to flatten the curve on COVD-19 continue, the pandemic is affecting the finances of New Yorkers and the New York State budget.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on how the virus is causing a disruption to people’s wallets. 

Many New Yorkers have been having difficulty filing for unemployment due to the large volume. 

The Governor assures us that the site is being worked on. 

Meanwhile, the state has also made the decision to defer pay raises for some state workers. 

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor))

You have millions out of work the next shoe to drop is going to be millions of people calling for unemployment benefits, crashing the system that handles the unemployment benefits. 

The Cuomo Administration has been working with Google to fix the issue and bypass a phone certification.

The Governor’s Secretary says as people were filling out the application online, if fields were left blank it would direct the applicant to call into the Department of Labor, adding to calls. 

Once the new application goes online it will be streamlined with fewer questions. 

((Melissa DeRosa, Governor Cuomo’s Secretary)) If you successfully fill it out it’s going to say you’re finished with the application process. If there’s any information that’s left blank it’s going to say don’t call us we will call you within 72 hours.

Meanwhile the state is also facing a 10 to 15 billion dollar shortfall due to the virus.

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor)) This is more devastating to the New York economy and New York budget… than 9/11 by far.

The State’s Budget Director says about 80-thousand state workers will have their pay raises deferred for 90 days, which totals about 50 million dollars. 

((Robert Mujica, Director of Budget))

we think at this time it makes sense to take a pause, the 2 percent raises don’t go in effect for at least 90 days. At 90 days we’ll review it.

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor)) the options are you could do layoffs of state workers, option A, option B you could buy some time with freezing the raises to state workers.  I choose option B.

The state’s unemployment website will be down from 5 to 7pm Thursday night.

At that time it should be re-booted with the improvements. 

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