Governor Kathy Hochul on Sunday said New York will not pay to extend COVID-19 unemployment benefits for the 1.6 million state residents receiving them when the related federal programs expire at the end of Sunday.
Hochul as much as she wants to extend the COVID-19 unemployment benefit her hands are tied by both federal regulations and state law, which prohibit allocating additional funds while the state is still running a deficit.
“Our unemployment system was so overtaxed last year and a half that we now have an $11 billion deficit, and the state law does not allow us to allocate any increase in resources as long as there is a deficit,” Hochul said.
“We looked long and hard to find out what options are available for the people,” Hochul added.
Sources said the programs set to expire by the end of Sunday include Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits.
Before it expires the programs have extended the amount of time someone could receive payments after losing their job.
Sources added that an additional $300 in COVID support per week paid out by the feds to all unemployment recipients also expires at midnight Sunday.
The New York Labor Department said unemployment stood at 7.6 percent statewide in July and 10.5 percent in New York City.
Instead of waiting for the state, Hochul advised unemployed New Yorkers set to lose benefits Monday to seek help from workforce training programs.
“It’s simply a matter of connecting the dots, connecting the people to the training, connecting them to the positions,” the governor said.