News10NBC Investigates: Unemployment delays continue for some

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — At the height of the pandemic, News10NBC told you the stories of unemployed New Yorkers made to wait months for unemployment benefits. Now that most people are back to work, things have slowed down some at the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) but not everyone who files a claim is getting speedy service.

Tom and Kim Arnold both lost their jobs around Thanksgiving.

“We are both unemployed and neither one of us has a check coming in and the bills are racking up,” Tom told News10NBC.

The Arnolds both applied for unemployment benefits separately on Dec. 13, more than six weeks later, they haven’t gotten any money or any correspondence confirming that they actually will.

“I just never heard anything back one way or the other,” Kim said.

The couple can’t get through to anyone at NYSDOL to ask if there’s an issue.

“If there’s a problem tell me and let me answer those questions so we can keep moving forward but I got no letter, I got no updates, the website keeps saying it would tell us updates but there were none,” Kim said.

News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke took the Arnold’s complaints straight to the Department of Labor.

A spokesman says that most claims are processed within three weeks but they can take longer depending on if there’s a question about whether a claimant left his/her job without cause, if the employer contests the claim, if a claimant was previously disqualified from receiving benefits or if a scammer may have fraudulently used a claimant’s personal information to previously file for benefits.

In Tom’s case, it appears none of that was the case because after News10NBC passed along his information.

“They called me and said you got approved. I asked if it was retroactive and back to the 13th and they said yea, absolutely… I think it was because maybe you got in touch with them that they finally got in touch with me otherwise I have no idea when they were going to be contacting me,” he said.

Kim’s case looks to be a bit more complicated but she did get a call from NYSDOL and was told it’s being worked on and she should hear back within 48 hours.