New Yorkers get 20 extra weeks of unemployment benefits amid coronavirus

 

New Yorkers can collect unemployment benefits for an additional 20 weeks in a move designed to cushion those thrown out of work by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor de Blasio praised the state Thursday for extending the benefits from the normal 26 weeks of state jobless benefits and 13 additional weeks offered by the federal government.

Hizzoner said the extension comes as welcome news since Congress has failed to extend the $600-a-week unemployment benefit that had helped many jobless New Yorkers keep their heads above water.

“While our federal government isn’t acting, I want to give credit to New York State,” the mayor said at his daily press briefing.

There is no expiration date for the extended state benefits. But New Yorkers are only qualifying for the extra weeks of federal benefits because the state’s unemployment rate is so high, a figure that could change.

The city’s unemployment rate has shot up to 18% amid the pandemic. More than 1 million people filed first-time unemployment claims for the 18th straight week -- and jobless claims are on the rise again amid new spread of COVID-19.