Senator Schneiderman Votes To Extend Unemployment Benefits For New Yorkers

Eric T. Schneiderman

May 19, 2009

ALBANY – State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman voted today to pass critical legislation (S.4110-A) that will provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to nearly 120,000 New Yorkers who have lost their jobs. 

Presently, unemployment benefits for approximately 56,000 jobless New York residents are set to expire starting this week; nearly 5,000 people will lose benefits every week over the next 2-3 months. In addition to assisting families in need, this legislation provides a much-needed boost to our struggling economy. The funds would be spent quickly, generating income for local businesses.

“I am proud to support this critical extension, which will make a real difference in the lives of tens of thousands of New Yorkers who have lost their jobs. It’s a win-win for our economy and the hard-working middle class families struggling to get back on their feet,” said Senator Schneiderman. “For those who find themselves out of work, often through no fault of their own, unemployment insurance provides a lifeline.”

New York will receive more than $645 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, funding that will be used to extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks to those currently unemployed. Additionally, federal stimulus dollars will also stabilize New York’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, which pays out all benefits for unemployed workers.

Because of the rising unemployment rates, with more than 160,000 jobs lost in the last year alone, that fund has been running in deficit since January of this year.

“In these tough economic times, I want to ensure that these workers get the benefits they deserve to support their families and re-enter the workforce as soon as possible. Putting people back to work must be our top priority,” added Sen. Schneiderman.