ALBANY (TNS) — New Yorkers who were unemployed in late July and early August should start receiving a $300 a week unemployment check this week thanks to federal aid.
The state Department of Labor revamped its unemployment system to administer three weeks worth of $300 payments to 2.4 million out-of-work New Yorkers.
The aid, called the Lost Wages Assistance Program, comes after the state applied last month for part of $44 billion in federal unemployment aid made available unilaterally Aug. 8 by President Donald Trump amid gridlock over a new stimulus package in Washington.
The checks, the labor department said, start going out this week, and those eligible likely would have received an email and text from the labor department last week that the money is coming or more information is needed.
”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,” labor commissioner Roberta Reardon said in a statement.
The 2.4 million New Yorkers eligible for the $300 a week are recipients of both traditional unemployment insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which was the $600 a week that Congress approved last spring that expired at the end of July.
About 2 million residents are pre-qualified for the $300 a week because they had indicated their unemployment was due to COVID-19 cutbacks, and they will receive payments automatically starting this week.
The rest, about 435,000 people, will need to submit an additional certification to qualify for the $300.
Per federal law, people still unemployed should continue to certify weekly to ensure they “receive all benefits to which you are entitled,” the labor department said.
The money comes to New York from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the federal government approved the $300 a week for three weeks retroactive to Aug 1.
That means the benefit is available for those unemployed for the weeks ending: Aug. 2, Aug. 9 and Aug. 16
About 2 million residents are pre-qualified for the $300 a week because they had indicated their unemployment was due to COVID-19 cutbacks.
So they will not need to take further action to get the money, and they likely would have gotten an email from the state alerting them that it is on the way.
Roughly 435,000 eligible claimants will need to provide additional certification confirming that their unemployment is related to COVID-19.
Those claimants will need to:
• Open and complete a secure DocuSign email from the labor department that should come Friday with a link to certify for benefits.
• Certify starting last Friday via phone at 833-491-0632.
If they enter their information by 5 p.m.this Tuesday, they should be able to get the money as soon as next week.
After that, the money would be released on a rolling basis. All the money should hit your bank accounts at the same time.
But it will show up as individual payments of $300 per week for the weeks ending August 2, 9, and 16.
The state has applied for an additional three weeks of Lost Wages Assistance allowed by the federal government.
”We are waiting for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to give final approval for the funding,” the labor department said on its website.
The final approval will likely depend on how much is in the federal pot. Congress could also agree to additional unemployment money, but Democrats and Republicans have been at a stalemate.
FEMA said it would only distribute the money to the point where the disaster relief fund drops to $25 billion.
The assistance could run through December, according to Trump’s order, but FEMA has warned it might only last weeks depending on how many states apply and get approved for the money.