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Unemployment benefits stopped in NY state

by Frank
(New York, New York)

I have been collecting unemployment benefits since 11/08.

A few weeks ago, I worked freelance for 6 hours, which I reported to NYS unemployment when i filed fro my weekly benefits. A week or so late I received a form to fill out to verify, the 6 hours of work, the name of the employer, and why have I stopped working there. I made a mistake on one a question about having a business, or any activity that
might bring in income. By mistake I checked YES, where it should have been NO. A few weeks late I received a questioner asking me to list information about this business, and I had to get it back to them in promptly
in 7 days. After calling and speaking to a
NYS unemployment service rep, and telling them I made a mistake, I was told it was no big deal and all I need to do was mail back the questioner, and include a letter and any documentation telling them that a mistake was made. I was informed it would take 3-5 days to clear it up and for my payments to be released again. I mailed the info priority/registered receipt and it was received and signed for by NYS unemployment on time. My problem is now they never released my payments and went ahead and made a determination based on my original mistake that I told them I am involved in a business or activity that generates income, and that I never bothered to send them the questioner, even though I have a receipt for the US postal service that it was in their possession. When I called a service rep again, and explained my problem, I was given a few ridiculous excuses. One was that it takes them up to a week to read any incoming mail. So they went ahead and made a determination
about my case without reviewing any of the evidence I sent them.

Now they are telling me my only option is to file for a hearing which can take up to six weeks just to get a date for it. I have been trying to speak to someone or get a phone number to try and remedy this. But I keep hitting
a wall. I can't understand how I have to go to a hearing before and administrative judge to clear up a clerical mistake that I made. And this will take months!

My gut to this situation is its misconduct by whoever is handling my case. Can you suggest any other options?
I was thinking of filing a complaint with Legal Services Division of the Office of the State Comptroller.

Thank you.

—Frank NYC

Hi Frank,

You go ahead and file your complaint, but you get that appeal in first .. with all the documentation you have including the receipt.

I always recommend faxing when they provide that option because you can get a successful transmittal and retain the documents for your own records .. and if you have your own fax .. it's cheaper too.

I don't usually recommend extremely detailed appeal letters, but I'm breaking with my usual advice to just outline points.

Tell it like it is and include the fact that due to the New York Department of Labor you are suffering great financial hardship. It might prompt them to schedule the hearing faster. And there is always the chance that your appeal will prompt them to swiftly issue a redetermination when they see the error. They do have that ability.

You might also consider the
USDOL to see if they are in compliance. They probably are.

Sorry, I can't be of more help Frank, but your story demonstrates the possible consequences of checking just one check box by mistake.

Comments for Unemployment benefits stopped in NY state

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Apr 02, 2016
For Wil and "how is this legal"
by: Chris -

It's legal and for reasons I do happen to understand as being reasonable.

It's also how all unemployment laws work, because searching for a job, and more importantly, being able and available to accept a suitable job and go back to work are conditional requirements to collect benefits for any week.

So, it does not come as a surprise to me you were denied for those three weeks in the hospital, but collecting again should not be a problem if your doctor has released you from being medically prohibited from working.

As far as being fair .. the reasoning behind the conditional issues is that employers pay the unemployment tax that funds the programs, not employees.

Alerting them is the right thing to do, because when someone doesn't notify the state they aren't able and available in any week they claim .. and the state finds out (in a variety of ways) now the unemployed person has a misrepresentation of material fact issue which shortened means unemployment fraud and that's not something any person without a job, sick, or not needs to deal with, when it's quite avoidable.

That is avoidable, if we only pay attention to how UI works.

Now, if you had mentioned this as a comment to a question about NJ unemployment, I would of given you the link to it's temporary disability unemployment insurance program ..

Apr 02, 2016
How is this legal
by: Wil

I was recently hospitalized due to illness for 3 weeks. As I understand it, you can not claim benefits for those weeks, due to my inability to actively search for employment.

I'm in a total state of awe for this reasoning.

How is this at all fair to any person to be denied for what I basically 'worked for'? (Because, I would not be granted benefits to begin with had i not had employment previously). I think this is totally unfair, especially if these benefits are your only source of income.

How is any person suppose to sustain themselves should they become ill for a short term? Shit! Even if I was still employed I would get sick pay. Why is this not viewed as the same? As I see it, maybe I shouldn't alert them of any future unforeseeable illnesses that finds me in the hospital. My mistake there is one exception for claiming benefits while hospitalized; If I get into a car accident. How is this at all fair? I did purpose get sick.

Jul 31, 2013
Are we just supposed to starve and become homeless?

I lost my job in March of 2012 and despite submission of hundreds and hundreds of resumes/applications I STILL to not have a job..... Much of this I believe is because I am over 50 but trying to prove that is impossible. Anyway - I was approved for the 599 training program which was delayed because they didn't think that I could complete my training within 24 months. I finally was approved and continued to pursue employment while I was in school full time.... On June 16 of this year, I was unable to certify for my benefits, the following Mon I called the NYSDOL and was told that my benefits were exhausted but transferred me over to the 599 department for further assistance.... They too told me that my benefits were exhausted even though I was in their training program... So I have now been without ANY income since June 9th.... My home is in foreclosure, I have to wait 30 days for food stamps and 45 days for temporary assistance... Its been over 30 days and our food from the food pantry is almost gone so I have left 2 messages and sent 3 emails until I finally received a call.... They are unable to find my application!!!! SO,.. I am going to lose my home and I guess not eat until we are able to go back to the food pantry...... I am a very educated woman and have a vast experience in not one but 3 areas but I cannot even get a job in our local grocery store..... WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO???? All become homeless, live in shelters and beg for food???? Where are the people that really care besides the Food Pantries????

Jul 29, 2011
I had 12 more wks to collect, now the abruptly stopped it
by: GMK

No warning, no prior communication. Still accepted my reporting on Sunday and simply didn't deposit the money to my checking account. Called the number that was given on the site and the recording said that the extension is now stopped BECAUSE OF THE IMPROVED ECONOMY. Has anybody noticed that the economy in New York or New Jersey has improved? I have fantastic skills and have not been able to find even temporary work, although signed up for several temp agencies and religiously check the online search engines.

Would like to hear from others in the same situation.


If you really do want to hear from others in NY and NJ, you need to create your own page. (you can do that here)

I'll move it to the best category.

But your comment and request to hear from others noticing this "new" development, is buried here and probably won't get much action.

Jun 14, 2011
withholding benefits
by: Anonymous

Recently my family and I went out of the country because my 100 years old grandmother was not doing good and we were told to come and same good bye, of course I spend two weeks visiting in and out of the hospital. While I was out of the country I filed for unemployment not knowing I was not supposed to. When I return I receiving a letter stating that I received money out of the country and if I didnot call within to days of the date the letter was written I would loose all benefits. I call explain to them that I was unaware of unable to filed out of the country. They told me I would hear back from them, is there any chance of me getting those benefits back. I am going through such a hardtime and don't want to resort to well fare until I receive a job. Please let me know if there is any hope. Thanks

Although I no longer address "chances" I can explain to you why you have a problem.

In order to receive unemployment benefits for any week that you file a claim for benefits, then ..
then you must be able and available for work and looking for work.

And .. a continuing claim form always ask the question.

Something along the lines of "were you able and available for work?"

I suspect you will receive a determination not only stopping your benefits, but also saying that you willfully misrepresented a material fact in order to collect unemployment for the time you were out of the country and not able to look or accept a job .. if one were offered.

Please don't shoot the messenger .. I don't make the rules .. I understand how the rules tend to work.

By the way, you are not the first person from NY I've heard this similar scenario from .. so I suspect that NY must be keeping a close eye on the ISP's of the computer that someone files a claim from as an unemployment fraud detection measure.


Jun 08, 2011
by: Anonymous

Exactly 11 weeks after this mess started, they finally apologized. I went completely berserk this week and finally got some results. Of course the internship is now rendered useless but hey. At least I got my goddamn money back. AND YES IT IS MY MONEY.

You probably can't hear the sounds of my cheers and applause here in .. well out west somewhere ..

But please know that it was happening right before I started typing.

Congratulations on yanking back what was rightfully yours from the puckered up coffers of an unemployment fund.


Jun 02, 2011
I will leave NYS
by: Susan

I am a Dental Hygienist who worked 2 jobs (1 fulltime and 1 part time-2 days/month). In September 2010, I lost my fulltime job because my boss closed the practice. I opted to work my 2day/month job to keep my skills up til I could find a fulltime position.

I collected unemployment but always reported the part time hours and had to fill out the subsequent forms each month explaining why I wasn't working more.

In March, my boss offered me 2 more days a month doing different jobs than I was hired for. I was told he wanted the same person for all 4 days, and I couldn't keep my old hours. Faced with that ultimatum and not wanting to work chairside with him, I quit.

I was just notified that since I quit my 2day/month job, I was losing all my benefits PLUS I owe $2800 for the benefits paid to me since the time of quitting. I was grilled by the unemployment man who called, to the point of bursting into tears. My former boss refutes all of what I wrote.

I can't wait to get out of this God-forsaken state where you pay into the system for years, pay your taxes etc. and then when you need help, they give you the shaft. Onto Welfare I guess..

Jun 02, 2011
Punished for nothing
by: Anonymous

PS, it is now three weeks later and I am STILL arguing with them. They said they have to call the place where I was volunteering (the internship ended two weeks ago).

THIS MEANS THAT THE WHOLE INTERNSHIP WAS A HUGE WASTE OF TIME BECAUSE I AM SO HUMILIATED I CAN NEVER USE THEM AS A REFERENCE NOW. It just looks too bad for someone who was only working there a little over two months to have cops (or what sounds like cops) calling and asking questions.

It makes you look stupid and like a loser. My advice is do not do not work for free. Just sit at home watching soaps. I CAN NOT EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE HOW ANGRY I AM OVER THIS WHOLE THING.

May 10, 2011
Punishment for Nothing
by: Pigbitin Mad

Well get this....

I started an internship for a UK company with an office in New York City. I was doing what I was SUPPOSED TO DO which is get out there and try to network because sending my resume into this black hole is useless because I am 49 years old.

Anyway....I claimed benefits from the office computer (takes three seconds) and three weeks later, I noticed that my benefits did not go through. I called and was told this was because I was out of the country. Turns out this company's servers show a UK IP address even though I was in New York the whole time not making a dime.

I was treated like a felon and told to come in with my passport to prove I was not out of the country. Seriously they talked to me like I was such a dickhead that I can only hope these clowns get laid off when Cuomo starts cutting the budget. I went in and gave them everything they asked for, but here it is three weeks later (and more than six weeks since I have gotten a check) and I am still haggling with them.

Has anyone ever gotten their congress person involved and did it really help? I AM SO ANGRY ABOUT BEING PUNISHED FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING THAT I WANT THESE MOTHER f$$^^&#Ws FIRED AND FIRED THIS MINUTE.

I mean, a simple phone call could have prevented this entire mess. And they never told me and allowed me to explain myself before just cutting me off. I am wondering if they EVER planned to say anything.

And the worst part is, they are going to call the company where I am interning. And they sound like collection agent/parole officers calling to check up on me (you know that nasty bounty hunter voice). That's just what you need when you are trying get hired maybe.

Those idiots will find out soon enough what age discrimination is so please Andrew Cuomo please fire these people.

May 06, 2011
Stupid is as Stupid does
by: Anonymous

What are the requirements/education level to become a NYSDL claims Representative?

My claim rep is sooo stupid that she cannot even check the proper dates in a calendar. She has called me twice asking me the SAME questions, which of course I have answered...TWICE. When I corrected her, and told her she was looking at the wrong calendar dates she turned into a complete bitch and stated she was correct. I called the NYSDL and asked to speak to a supervisor hoping to be assigned someone with at least half a brain to handle my claim, I but was told they have no access to any!!!
I am sure my claim will be denied since she's obviously incompetent & there's no one to complain to, because they will not transfer me to a supervisor.

Shouldn't a claims rep have the minimum intelligence to read a calendar? What the hell is going on in this country? I am just astounded that these IDIOTS are allowed to make decisions for those of us who do have a working brain.


I know your question is rhetorical .. but then so are mine .. most of the time.

I don't know what the educational requirements are to be a claims reps or what I refer to as claims adjudicators. Ironically .. when looking for issue specific information .. I often run across NYDOL job descriptions .. I've just never paid much attention.

The stories of 'stupidity' that I do hear suggest this problem is widespread and not confined to just NY.

Additionally, I am a firm believer that a person's ability to fulfill 'educational requirements' on a resume is about as telling as a weather forecast based only on the way the skies look at the moment.

There is after all a lot to learn, but an ability to to 'reason' and an ability to listen well are not guaranteed by a degree.

All I can tell you is that when I began my career (if you can call it that) in unemployment .. I was sat down in a chair and immediately had to start talking to employers. I had zero formal training provided to me by the employer.

Thank goodness I had a kind and patient boss.

Nonetheless, after one day of feeling totally foolish and embarrassed and repeating to clients .. "I'll have to check into that and get back to you with the answer" I went home that night and started researching .. for the answers.

Each unemployment claim .. is a repeated process .. the only things that change are the players .. and the facts.

And it is my opinion thst any state unemployment worker that can 't explain why they are correct about calendar dates or why you are in error .. is someone I would be concerned about making the proper determination .. because they don't listen well.

At this point in time .. the only state I know of that actually directs you to a place where you could report your experience with an adjudicator .. is CA

Other than that .. I say call the office that ultimately controls all programs that require reporting to the federal government.

State attorney general.

Apr 17, 2011
Calling Unemployment
by: Anonymous

Keep calling them until you get the answer you want to hear

Mar 11, 2011
by: katie

oh do i believe you all... i'm going through bullshit with them too. they say i owe them money and are telling me lies. the lady i spoke to on the phone was a complete bitch.

Jan 15, 2011
NY Unemployment Merry go Round
by: Carl

My wife is collecting unemployment from NY state and the nonsense she has to go thru to keep her check coming is worthy ONLY of NY.. She tries to work as much as possible as a substitute monitor with our school district and may get called to work a couple of times a week which she always informs NY unemployment when filing her weekly claim. BUT, without fail as soon as she works (therby not having to collect benefits, A GOOD THING, RIGHT!! N O T!!) they withhold her money and require her to fill out endless forms explaining why she worked a couple of days and DID NOT COLLECT UNEMPLOYMENT!! Unbelievable bullshit, only in NY.... As I write this she is in the process of filling out all the nonsense forms AGAIN, explaining why she did not collect taxpayer money and instead went to work! She's a bad girl......

Apr 20, 2010
by: Anonymous







Jul 14, 2009
by: Frank

Thanks for the input!

I went on the offensive, and
contacted my NY State Senator,
Congressman, and the Office of the Governor.


You are my kind of unemployment claimant:)))

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