After weeks of receiving thousands of phone calls and emails from constituents struggling to claim their unemployment benefits, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) has joined with his colleagues in the Senate Republican Conference to launch an online petition demanding the state take immediate action to fix the unemployment system. The response to those in need of financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of tragic and the men and women who have been waiting—in many cases for nearly two months—deserve answers and funding from New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).
“Our office continues to be inundated with calls and emails daily from residents who are desperate and it is unfair that the men and women of our state have to fight to get the money they worked for and are entitled to. We know that this is a unique situation and that the workers at the New York State Department of Labor are working their hardest to alleviate the backlog but there are thousands of families struggling and they need relief now. These hardworking Long Islanders need access to this money to feed their families and pay their bills – and the state needs to find a solution now,” stated Senator Flanagan.
In addition to waiting weeks to be processed, some constituents seeking assistance have been hung up on after being put on hold for lengthy amounts of time or have waited 6-8 weeks for a simple call back after being promised a quick return phone call from NYSDOL within 72 hours. Those who have received calls have shared that representatives say they are unable to assist because they are working from home and that people need to “be patient.”
Additionally, many people have expressed other frustrations about their experience with applying for benefits. Recently, people have shared that they are receiving personal information, including Social Security numbers, of other residents from NYSDOL.
Residents who wish to join the effort to force a quick solution to the unemployment mess should visit www.fixDOLdisaster.com. Senator Flangan also encourages those who join him in feeling frustrated over the issues with this broken system to share the petition on social media with the hashtag, #fixtheDOLdisaster.