NY Department of Labor launches streamlined application for COVID-19 pandemic assistance program

The New York State Department of Labor has launched a new, streamlined application for residents to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program without having to first apply for unemployment insurance.
The new, faster application does not require people to call the Department of Labor. 
Previously, residents were required to apply for regular unemployment insurance and be rejected before applying for the COVID-19 pandemic unemployment assistance.  Now, New Yorkers just have to fill out one form to get the correct benefits. 
Additionally, the Department of Labor has deployed more than 3,100 representatives that will be dedicated to answering unemployment benefit needs seven days a week. This number is up from 400.
The updated unemployment benefits application system is available here.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program provides unemployment benefits for individuals who are ineligible for traditional unemployment insurance. 
It includes:
  • Self-employed New Yorkers;
  • Independent contractors;
  • New Yorkers who worked for an app-based company (i.e. "gig workers")
  • Farmers;
  • Those diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have COVD-19 symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis;
  • Those living with a household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Those providing care for a family or household member diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • A primary caregiver for a child unable to attend school or another facility due to COVID-19;
  • Those unable to reach their place of employment due to an imposed quarantine or because they have been advised by a medical provider to         self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
  • Those scheduled to commence new employment that cannot reach their workplace as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • Those who became a major breadwinner because the head of their household died from COVID-19;
  • Those who quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • Those whose place of employment closed as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • Those with insufficient work history and affected by COVID-19; and
  • New Yorkers otherwise not qualified for regular or extended UI benefits and affected by COVID-19
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