Ramos: State to Help Unemployed with an Additional 13 Weeks of Benefits

May 20, 2009
Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced the governor has signed a law that will allow the state to receive a one-time federal grant of $645 million for unemployment compensation. The legislation (A.8273) would allow unemployment compensation recipients to receive a 13-week extension on their benefits.

“As of March 2009, 110,000 Long Islanders were unemployed — that is a 7.3% unemployment rate. Workers across the board are losing their jobs at an unprecedented rate,” Assemblyman Ramos said. “The unemployment rate has jumped 4.7% from March 2008. This federal stimulus money will help the state cover current benefit claims – vitally important because there are many New Yorkers filing claims for the first time.”

In 2008 and February 2009, the federal government provided an additional 33 weeks of benefits, for which they paid 100 percent of the cost, for a total of 59 weeks of benefits for New York State claimants. There are 56,000 jobless New Yorkers whose unemployment benefits will run out next week without this legislation, with at least 5,000 more a week after that.

The state will use federal stimulus funds to further help unemployed New Yorkers and:

  • ensures that workers who must leave work for certain family reasons, including domestic abuse and the sickness or disability of a family member, may collect unemployment insurance benefits;
  • provides that part-time workers can seek part-time work to qualify for benefits;
  • extends benefits for an additional 13 weeks, for a total of 72 weeks of benefits; and
  • extends benefits an additional 7 weeks when the state has a total unemployment rate of 8 percent or greater – for a maximum of 79 weeks.

“There are many Suffolk County residents struggling to find jobs in this staggering economy – we must do all we can to help support them.”