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Payment of $300 unemployment aid boosters delayed for those who use pre-paid cards

New Yorkers started receiving the LWA unemployment insurance

New Yorkers started receiving the LWA unemployment insurance boosters this week. Credit: Getty Images/Jeff Fusco

As some New Yorkers on Friday received three payments of as much as $300 each to boost their unemployment checks, others were still waiting.

Cleveland-based KeyBank, which processes unemployment payments for jobless New Yorkers, said late Friday that people who receive their payments via direct deposit should have received funds in their accounts. "Unfortunately, for those who receive their payments via Key2Benefits pre-paid cards, we have encountered a further, unexpected delay," the bank said.

"We are working to resolve this issue as we understand how critical these funds are to New Yorkers."

The state also announced yesterday that the second batch of Lost Wages Assistance would be disbursed next week.

LWA gives eligible New Yorkers receiving unemployment insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance an additional $300 in weekly aid for a limited period.

New York announced Thursday that the first three payments – covering the weeks ended Aug. 2, 9 and 16 – would start hitting New Yorkers’ bank accounts within days.

Responding to a flurry of anxious unemployed New Yorkers online earlier in the day, the state Labor Department Tweeted: "Every vendor who works with the DOL has a responsibility to get New Yorkers their benefits as quickly as possible — which KeyBank failed to do."

"KeyBank has assured us this problem will not impact future payments," the Labor Department said.

The state agency also said it had disbursed nearly $1.9 billion of the FEMA-backed supplemental unemployment benefit to state residents this week.

With the additional approval from FEMA, the state has confirmed that the benefit for the remaining three weeks — those ended on Aug. 23, 30 and Sept. 6 — will be sent out to eligible aid claimants starting next week.

"While plagued with administrative roadblocks, the federal Lost Wages Assistance program is now finally providing unemployed families with much-needed support — and it is unconscionable for the Federal government to once again cut Americans off from this support," state Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said in a statement released early Friday.

"Leaders in Washington, D.C., must pass a comprehensive package that supports unemployed families and the state and local governments that are hurting from this pandemic," she said.

Approximately 2.4 million New Yorkers were eligible for a portion or all of the first 3 weeks of the aid boost. According to the Labor Department, roughly 2.3 million are eligible for the last three weeks of the program.

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