New York, NY – Speaker Corey Johnson urged the New York State Department of Labor to create a system capable of handling the increased demand from New Yorkers seeking unemployment insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the past few weeks, there has been a large number of New Yorkers who lost their job and have reported difficulties filing their unemployment insurance claims. Many New Yorkers complained about DOL’s website crashing and phone lines jamming, making it impossible for them to reach the Department of Labor and file their claims.

In a letter sent to Commissioner Roberta Reardon, Speaker Johnson called for a clear timeline to which unemployment insurance claims can be filed to ensure DOL continues to diligently serve the public as unemployment continues to increase in the state. Additionally, Speaker Johnson said that the State should credit those who were not able to file for their unemployment insurance immediately after losing their jobs.

“It is critical that New Yorkers have access to their unemployment benefits. As we battle the coronavirus pandemic, these benefits are a lifeline to so many New Yorkers and their families, and will help them get through this unprecedented crisis. While we work together to get the economy back on track once again, New Yorkers need to be able to file for their unemployment insurance benefits,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.