New York is "on pause," which means thousands of businesses across the state have closed, some permanently.
Since the economy's reboot date is still uncertain, many employers laid off their employees to allow them to collect unemployment checks.
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However, this has led to a record number of unemployment claims here in the state. The Department of Labor said its website is averaging around 250,000 logins a day.
For reference, usually the system handles around 50,000 calls a week. Last week, there was 1.7 million calls.
This has left many people unable to finish filing for unemployment. Although the majority of the application can be done online, a person still has to call the Labor Department and finish up with an agent. Many people are calling saying they are unable to get through to the office or left on hold for an endless amount of time.
When asked, secretary to the governor, Melissa De Rosa, said that the system was "overrun almost to the point of collapse."
The state said they are working to increase both the sever and bandwidth capacity for the website to handle the influx of visits to the site. The Labor Department is also working to hire more staff and rehire retired staff to help answer some of these calls. It also will be setting up virtual call center terminals to allow staff to work from home.
Labor officials also said anyone who qualifies for benefits will receive them in full, even if there are delays in filing.
Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, who represents Rockland County, is advising people struggling to file for unemployment to also try filing later in the day. The system is usually more bogged down in the morning.
"The COVID-19 crisis has overwhelmed the states current capabilities and countless constituents have reached out with issues attempting to file for unemployment," Assemblyman Schmitt said. "The good news is the Department of Labor is working around the clock to onboard more capabilities to respond to the current need.”