HYDE PARK, NY–Following her call for immediate action to be taken to clear the backlog of unemployment insurance claims, Senator Sue Serino today is launching a petition to highlight the extreme need to fix the broken unemployment system.

“Thousands of New Yorkers have gone two months without receiving a single dime in unemployment benefits,” said Senator Serino. “These are real people, with real families to support, who are unemployed through no fault of their own. My colleagues and I are doing all we can to assist and we have offered a number of suggestions to the Governor and the Department of Labor that have gone largely ignored while claims languish and hardworking New Yorkers struggle to afford necessities. It's not right, and the state needs to fix the problems plaguing the unemployment system immediately. New Yorkers deserve to be heard on this critically important issue and that’s what this petition is all about.”

Residents looking to make their voices heard can visit to sign the petition sponsored by Serino and some of her Senate colleagues.

In a letter to the Governor sent last week, Serino urged the state to dedicate additional resources to more effectively process the claims and suggested temporarily moving even more state employees to the Department of Labor to assist. She urged the state to streamline the process and cut through red tape that requires far too many New Yorkers to call the Department. She also urged the Governor to include a dedicated update on the status of these claims at his daily press briefings to limit the confusion that is driving countless New Yorkers to unnecessarily call and email the Department. 

Serino’s letter can be viewed here

While the state has promised to provide residents with benefits dating back to their last day worked, the weeks-long delay is creating significant financial hardship for many and Serino contends that her office is hearing from too many residents who have not been given their full back pay once they do start to receive benefits.

Serino concluded saying, “The state made a lot of promises to these workers when they asked them to do their part and stay home in the name of public health, and it is far past time that the state delivers on those promises. These claims need to be approved, back pay needs to be issued and the state needs to be doing all that it can to safely get these New Yorkers back to work.”