Southern Brooklyn elected officials Councilman Chaim Deutsch, Councilman Kalman Yeger, State Senator Simcha Felder, and Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein sent a joint letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday, calling for ‘decisive action’ to resolve the backlog in incomplete unemployment filings.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, more than 1.5 million New Yorkers have filed for unemployment. Low- and middle-income residents have been disproportionately affected, particularly those in the service and retail industry. Since the influx of unemployment filings began in March, Cuomo has made strides towardsresolving the issues with the system by hiring a large number of new Department of Labor employees, as well as upgrading the filing system itself.
Yet there is still a large backlog, leaving tens of thousands of New Yorkers in need.
“The impact of delaying unemployment benefits will be substantial,” said Deutsch, “as many New Yorkers fall behind on their rent or mortgages, struggle to buy groceries, and are unable to provide for their families.”
“While we’re grateful to Gov. Cuomo for beginning a quick streamline of the unemployment process, much more needs to be done,” said Yeger. “Far too many of our fellow New Yorkers are facing devastating financial hardship in unprecedented and unanticipated numbers.”
People are desperately waiting these unemployment funds to pay their basic essential expenses like food, rent, and utilities,” said Eichenstein. “Governor Cuomo urgently needs to implement additional reforms to the State Department of Labor to respond to the needs of New Yorkers out of work and help ease the burden of individuals who are now unfortunately reliant on unemployment.”