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$300 in extra unemployment payments start next week

The New York State Department of Labor announced that payments for the Lost Wages Assistance program, which provides an additional $300 in weekly benefits to unemployed New Yorkers, will begin next week.

Up to 2.4 million New Yorkers are eligible for the program, including 435,000 who must submit an additional certification to qualify.

During the pandemic, the state has paid $43.7 billion in unemployment benefits to 3.5 million New Yorkers, representing over 20 typical years’ worth of benefits paid in just six months, according to a DOL statement.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released funding for the first three weeks of LWA benefits to New York State, covering the benefit weeks ending August 2, August 9, and August 16.

About 2 million people are already qualified for the LWA program because they indicated on their initial benefit application that their unemployment was connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. These claimants do not need to take any further action; will receive LWA payments starting next week; and will receive an email and text message from DOL informing them they have pre-qualified for LWA.

However, about 435,000 people who don’t fall into that category need to submit an additional certification confirming that their unemployment is related to COVID-19 to qualify for LWA benefits, as required by the federal government. They must certify starting Friday, Sept.11 either online at the DOL website or via phone at 833-491-0632 and will then receive payments starting next week if their certification is submitted by 5 p.m. on Sept. 15th. After that, payments will be released on a rolling basis.

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