Labor Seal NYS Department of Labor                          

Contact Leo Rosales Cell: 518-281-6167 Office: 518-457-5519 Email:
Filing for Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits Allowed Until December 31st; $25 Added to Weekly UI Benefits

Albany, NY (March 13, 2009) - New York State Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Labor, Mario Musolino together with Congressman Dan Maffei, 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 Central New York alone, more than 45,000 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 Syracuse region alone is estimated to total over $62 million.

Speaking at the CNY Works in Syracuse, Executive Deputy Commissioner Musolino and Congressman Maffei 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 11,000 in the Central New York 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 40,000 people in the region are expected to receive the increase to their regular benefit payments; and approximately 500,000 people statewide and over 16,000 in Central NY 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.”

Congressman Dan Maffei said, “Congressman Dan Maffei said, “At a time when unemployment is soaring and Syracuse’s jobless numbers are at their highest in 17 years, it is absolutely critical that we offer assistance to those who are hurting. The benefits we are discussing today will have direct benefit to the economy and help those families who need it most. I am especially proud of the COBRA subsidy provisions in the ARRA, because helping workers keep their health insurance while they are between jobs is a smart investment for the short and the long term.”

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