NEW YORK - The New York State Department of Labor announced it will begin distributing an additional $300 per week to unemployed New Yorkers under the Lost Wages Assistance Program. The money will be sent on a rolling basis beginning next week and will retroactively cover the weeks ending August 2, 9, and 16.
President Trump announced that unused money from the federal stimulus package would be shifted to pay unemployment benefits after Congress could not agree on a new relief package to continue enhanced unemployment relief. There are only a few weeks of money available under this plan.
The sweetened benefits will last until the $44 billion runs out, the balance of the fund falls below $25 billion or through Dec. 6, 2020, according to the memo Trump signed.
Up to 2.4 million New Yorkers are eligible. Around 435,000 New Yorkers must submit an additional certification to qualify.
“Throughout this crisis, states’ unemployment systems have been pushed to the limit and constantly-changing federal guidance — including this haphazard Presidential executive order — have only delayed our efforts to get benefits to New Yorkers in need," Commissioner Roberta Reardon. "But we have worked day and night to stand up this program, and millions of New Yorkers will see payments next week."
Those who must submit additional information will receive a secure DocuSign email from the DOL on Friday with a link to certify for LWA benefits. Claimants can also call 833-491-0632 to certify via an automated phone system.
New York State may be eligible for additional funding if:
1. The federal Disaster Relief Fund balance falls below $25 billion;
2. The $44 billion set aside for the LWA program is depleted
3. Congress enacts a replacement unemployment relief program; OR
4. If none of the above scenarios occur before December 27, 2020, funding will terminate on that date.
During the coronavirus pandemic, New York State has paid $43.7 billion in unemployment benefits to 3.5 million New Yorkers, representing over 20 typical years’ worth of benefits paid in just six months, according to the DOL.