The $300 federally funded boost to weekly unemployment aid will be dispersed to jobless New Yorkers starting next week, the state Labor Department announced Thursday.
Up to 2.4 million New Yorkers are eligible to receive the payments through the Lost Wages Assistance program, a FEMA-backed program created by presidential memorandum in early August. While more than 2 million unemployed New Yorkers are likely pre-qualified for what is known as LWA, approximately 435,000 jobless state residents must submit additional certification to qualify.
A new certification system for those New Yorkers is scheduled to launch Friday. The $300 payments will begin next week on a rolling basis.
“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 Thursday. “All New Yorkers should keep an eye out for these messages and, if an additional certification is required, respond immediately.”
FEMA has released funding for the first three weeks of the program, covering the weeks immediately following the July 31 end of the $600 weekly payments many jobless Long Islanders had depended on throughout the pandemic. The LWA payments cover the weeks ended Aug. 2, 9 and 16.
Under federal rules, the state "may be eligible for additional weeks of LWA funding," the agency said.
Recipients of both traditional unemployment insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance — a jobless aid program created in late March for gig workers and the self-employed — are eligible to receive the temporary relief.
For the roughly 435,000 New Yorkers who are not pre-qualified, they will need to submit additional certification confirming that “their unemployment is related to COVID-19” in order to receive the boost. Those New Yorkers will receive a secure DocuSign email from the Labor Department Friday with a link to certify for LWA payments.
Those who do not certify their weekly jobless status online can call 833-491-0632 to certify for LWA via an automated phone system.
If LWA certifications are submitted by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, those unemployment recipients will receive payments starting next week. For those who don’t certify by then, payments will be released on a rolling basis.
The 2 million New Yorkers who are pre-qualifed do not have to take further action and should expect to receive an email and text message from the Labor Department informing them of their pre-qualified LWA status. Payments for that larger group of recipients will start going out next week, the agency said.
Also Thursday, the agency reported that Long Island jobless claims fell slightly last week.
More than 5,800 Islanders filed for unemployment, a 4.5% decrease from the more than 6,100 who sought aid during the previous week.
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