Labor Seal NYS Department of Labor                          

Contact Leo Rosales Cell: 518-281-6167 Office: 518-457-5519 Email: leo.rosales@labor.ny.gov www.labor.ny.gov
MORE THAN ONE MILLION NEW YORKERS EXPECTED TO BENEFIT FROM UI PROVISIONS IN FEDERAL ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLAN
Filing for Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits Allowed Until December 31st; $25 Added to Weekly UI Benefits

Albany, NY (March 10, 2009) - New York State Deputy Commissioner for Employment Security Nancy Dunphy, together with Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey and Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano, today announced that more than one million unemployed New Yorkers statewide will benefit from the provisions for unemployment insurance compensation that are included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). In the Hudson Valley region alone, more than 95,000 unemployed individuals will benefit from them. The economic impact of the ARRA's unemployment insurance provisions is estimated to total more than $2.1 billion statewide. The impact in the Hudson Valley region alone is estimated to total nearly $200 million.

Speaking at the One-Stop Career Center in White Plains, Deputy Commissioner Dunphy, Congresswoman Lowey and County Executive Spano outlined how the ARRA unemployment insurance provisions will benefit New Yorkers, by:
  • Allowing new claims for extended unemployment benefits to be made through December 31, 2009, with benefits payable through May 31, 2010. (Previously, the deadline for applying for extended benefits was March 31, 2009, and no payments could be made beyond August 2009.) It is estimated that this extension will impact 352,000 people statewide, including 31,000 in the Hudson Valley region. New Yorkers are currently eligible to receive 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits and 33 weeks of extended benefits.
  • Increasing weekly unemployment insurance benefits by $25 through December 31, 2009. The increase applies to individuals who are collecting both regular and extended unemployment insurance benefits. Approximately 900,000 people statewide and 82,000 people in the Hudson Valley region are expected to receive the increase to their regular benefit payments; and approximately 500,000 people statewide and 44,000 in the Hudson Valley region are expected to receive the increase to their extended benefit payments. The additional payments will be made retroactive to the week ending March 1, 2009.
  • Suspending the federal income tax on the first $2,400 of unemployment insurance benefits per recipient. This provision is expected to result in an estimated federal tax savings of $215 per beneficiary in 2009.
  • Providing $412 million to New York State to replenish the UI Trust Fund, and $29.5 million in administrative funds to help improve claims processing, add staff to field calls and resolve claims, and improve the Shared Work program.

“The federal stimulus bill will provide critical assistance to unemployed New Yorkers at a time when they need it most,” said State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith. “To everyone who is struggling to find re-employment at this difficult time, the message is ‘help is on the way.’ Our leaders in Washington have responded to the needs of working families to help them get through this unprecedented economic crisis.”

“I urge all New Yorkers who are out of work through no fault of their own to make sure they file for unemployment compensation,” Commissioner Smith continued. “I also urge them to visit their local One-Stop Career Center to register for re-employment assistance. The federal stimulus bill also includes funds for worker training, which will become available to states very soon. It is important for workers to remain in contact with their local One-Stop so that they may take advantage of appropriate training opportunities that become available.”

Congresswoman Nita Lowey said, “The economic stimulus plan signed into law will be the engine that drives job growth in emerging industries in the months and years ahead. But in the interim, it will also provide critical relief for the most vulnerable, including unemployment insurance for those who have lost their job. I am pleased this extension and expansion of UI benefits will have such a positive impact on so many in our region.”

Westchester County Executive Andy Spano spoke about the county’s commitment to creating new jobs in Westchester with federal stimulus dollars. He said dozens of projects were planned to rebuild roads and bridges as well as upgrade sewage treatment plans that would create hundreds of jobs.

“Help is on the way,” said Spano. “I n Westchester County, we have already received the go-ahead to use federal stimulus dollars to start road repair and construction projects that will create jobs. We are also seeking funds to help those affected by foreclosures, and our One-Stop Employment Center plans to use stimulus funds to retrain workers for new green jobs. All these efforts combined will add up to a powerful shot in the arm for the local economy.”

Individuals are encouraged to check the Department of Labor’s web site at www.labor.ny.gov for current information regarding unemployment insurance, including extended benefits, eligibility rules and instructions on how to apply.