Why haven't I received my NYS unemployment benefits yet? You likely forgot this last step -- here's what to do:

1010 WINS Newsroom
May 04, 2020 - 6:25 pm

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- If you’re one of the thousands of New York residents who applied for unemployment — but still haven’t gotten paid — you may have missed a crucial step in the process. 

    Thousands of state residents have successfully applied for unemployment benefits, but haven’t submitted what’s known as a “weekly certification” yet, the New York State Department of Labor said in a release Monday. 

    Federal law requires anyone in the U.S. who receives unemployment insurance benefits, including COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), to submit a certification each week confirming they meet all of the criteria.

    Nearly 90,000 people in New York State missed that last step, keeping them from receiving a payment, according to the DOL.

    The department emailed those residents about the missing step and has started sending emails to anyone who is eligible to submit a weekly certification, it said. Applicants will also receive a physical letter explaining how to certify.

    The fastest way to complete the weekly certification is online, Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said during a teleconference with reporters Monday. 

    Applicants can log in to the Department of Labor site with their NY.gov ID, click the “Unemployment Services” button on the “My Online Services” page, click “Claim Weekly Benefits” and follow the instructions there to certify, according to Reardon.

    Anyone who can’t certify online can certify by calling 1-888-581-5812 for traditional unemployment insurance or 1-833-324-0366 for PUA, she said. 

    As of Monday, approximately 1.6 million New Yorkers had already received $4.6 billion in benefits, she noted. 

    Asked about New Yorkers who have already submitted their weekly certifications but haven’t received a payment yet, Reardon acknowledged that “some of these claims take much longer than others.”

    “That’s just a sad, simple truth,” she said. “(But) we will definitely get to you.” 

    Some claims — those that involve a combination of W-2 forms and 1099 forms, for example — simply take longer to process, she said. 

    Reardon also noted that self-employed or independent contractors who do not have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) must enter a code into that field instead, to indicate that they are self-employed or contractors.