Thirteen More Weeks Of Unemployment Benefits In New York State

Governor David Paterson of New York signed into law a bill extending unemployment benefits for thirteen more weeks. Around 56,000 people are on their last week of benefits right now, and the extension takes effect immediately.

Now, the maximum amount of time New York residents can draw unemployment is 72 weeks—18 months. The money for extended benefits come from federal funds.

Governor signs unemployment extension [Times Union]

(Photo: Editor B)


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  1. rwakelan says:

    1.5 years of unemployment? I think it maxes out at 6 months here…

    • TomCoughlin says:

      @rwakelan: Good move, that’ll encourage them to work that much harder to find work!

      And from federal stimulus funds? How does paying people to not work fall under creating or saving jobs?

      • nakedscience says:

        @TomCoughlin: Yes, because everyone on unemployment is TOTALLY LAZY! We’re not in a recession. There aren’t a lack of jobs. Nope, it’s just laziness.

      • sponica says:

        @TomCoughlin: it keeps them just slightly above the brink of disaster…my roommate just got laid off, and her unemployment benefits barely pay the rent.
        most people I know DON’T like being unemployed….

    • Richard Phillips says:

      @rwakelan: Thats why I love NY, Seriously though this state is doomed and our governor can’t even see it… get it.

  2. plutonyum says:

    Is this because the governor couldn’t see his shadow?

  3. Cameraman says:

    You know, this kind of undisciplined spending will cause New York State the same kinds of financial heartache California finds itself in. And the Governor will never see it coming, either.


  4. k1b8sn1 says:

    Ok… This really pisses me off. I just checked and here is their breakdown for the state of NY…

    Today 483 posts
    Yesterday 1169 posts
    Last 3 days 1889 posts
    Last 7 days 3985 posts
    Last 14, 30 and 60 days… 5000+ posts.

    I know that Monster has alot of BS job listings but come on… This is doing nothing but allowing people to wait another 13 weeks before deciding that they MIGHT NOT BE management material…

    • Trance1861 says:

      Yes, there are a lot of job postings on Monster, but there are also a LOT of people living in NYC. The estimated population of NYC exceeds 8.2 million people. The unemployment rate right not in NYC is around 8%. So, yea, while 5000 posts seem like a lot, when you have approximately 640,000 people unemployed, 5,000+ posts on Monster is nothing.
      I am sure many people will see the increased unemployment benefits as an excuse not to get a job, but I am also sure a whole lot of people NEED that money to get by right now.

    • K-Bo says:

      @k1b8sn1: NY Unemployment stats: []
      Those numbers are in 1000’s. Even if every NY job on monster was filled, there would be a problem. Not everyone is qualified for all those jobs either. Some who could get jobs may be getting benefits, but nowhere near everyone getting the benefits is just being lazy.

    • probablykate says:

      @k1b8sn1: I’m in philly, not new york, but I’m currently reviewing resumes for a low level Administrative Assistant job paying $30K and I can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve gotten from people who were making twice that and got laid off, and now will take anything. But guess what, we’re not even considering hiring them because we know as soon as the economy picks up they will be gone. So the moral is, getting a job isn’t as simple as seeing what’s on monster and applying.

      • sanjsrik says:

        I’m sorry, this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard any HR person ever say to anyone looking for work.

        In ANY economy people are going to leave the minute something better comes along. So, what, have the job go begging and the work not get done or burden the already overburdened dismantled staff that’s left?

        IF the job is available, and you find someone OVERQUALIFIED to do it, then get them to do it for as long as they can, after all, being an administrative assistant isn’t brain surgery, but they can do it until you find someone um, “less qualified”?

    • nakedscience says:

      @k1b8sn1: You are kidding me, right?

    • Porcelina says:

      @k1b8sn1: Wow. That is the most thoughtless, uninformed statement I have ever heard.

  5. NodalPoint says:


    I guess it’s nice to know I can keep getting benefits. But I certainly hope I don’t have to.

  6. giggitygoo says:

    Unemployment benefits are one of those things that sounds nice and seems to make sense, but instead people just wait longer to look for work. Also, they refuse to take a lower paying job while they look for a job at their old level. (I mean why do that if you can get free government money?) It’s true that some people who were making 6 figures in the financial sector will not find a similar job now, but chances are a few more weeks/months of unemployment will not change that. I know it sounds heartless, but governments at all levels are broke and the never ending spending has to stop at some point.

    • nakedscience says:

      @giggitygoo: You do realize that it’s not government money, right? That I pay into unemployment, right? That it comes from ME, right?

      • Frequentlywrong says:

        @nakedscience: EXACTLY, just like all the other government money we pay into (via all manner of taxes & fees) everything!
        People may as well say “I hate seeing people drive on that road, or attend that public school”

    • B* says:

      Unemployment is not welfare. It’s a system that workers pay into. Some seasonal industries (such as bridge painting) actually rely on unemployment to pay workers during the off-season every year.

      • doodaddy says:

        @Beki: I think Giggity’s point is that federal government stimulus is directly links to this extension. It seems to me this means that the citizens of NY are not the ones paying into it.

        I guess this means all states should up their unemployment to 18 months in order to see some fairness since we all pay for NY now. But since NY costs more and makes more, perhaps states with smaller industries should set their unemployment benefits at 3 years?

        Where does it end?

    • GearheadGeek says:

      @giggitygoo: Is the weather nice on your planet?

      In 2000, in a better overall job market than the current one (but in a down tech-job market in a city with lots of techies) I drew unemployment for about 8 weeks, while looking hard for a job. In fact, I had to spend a few days at the Texas Workforce Commission for seminars and other mandatory activities when I would otherwise have been actively seeking gainful employment. My benefits (the maximum that they pay) were less than a quarter of what I made before (and after) my period of unemployment, but they were enough to cover the mortgage and some other basic expenses so I didn’t burn through my savings as fast. I appreciated the assistance, but I certainly didn’t take any longer to find a job than I would have if I hadn’t had unemployment benefits, I just was in less dire straits than I would have been without it.

      I’m sure if you’re ever faced with a layoff, you’ll just spend your copious savings and take a job as a greeter at Wal-Mart, since obviously you would never accept unemployment benefits that so offend your sensibilities.

  7. ElizabethD says:

    Such extensions are a godsend. We benefited from several unemployment benefit renewals here in RI while my husband was out of a job for two years. Thankfully, he rejoined the ranks of the employed this week — although the job is in another state, away from me and the kids. :-(

    Anyway, good for New Yawk. These are unusual times requiring exceptional compassion.

  8. jesseg says:

    I was on the dole in New York for about a month and a half two years ago. Knowing that I had four and a half more months (the limit was only six months back then) didn’t keep me from looking for a job. I have a friend who was laid off over a year ago and he hasn’t been able to find work. Some people actually need the help.

  9. starrion says:

    I was on unemployment for six months when I was laid off from my Dot-com job. I went back to school and took a 12 week crash course for MCSE certification. Not just “here is how you pass the test” but actually taught how to do the work. I got a better paying job and have been here ten years, paying lots and lots of taxes.

    If I had just run out and gotten a job at Wal-mart I wouldn’t have contributed as much.

  10. wcnghj says:

    :) Unemployment extensions are a good thing :).

  11. Tim says:

    Don’t you have to prove you’re continually looking for a job in order to keep getting the benefits?

    • Mike8813 says:

      @TCama: I know when my wife pulled unemployment from the state of Alabama, you had to call in and answer automated questions. They all revolved around whether or not you were looking for work, or if you had started schooling.

      So even if it’s only to a phone robot, you do have to prove that you’re looking.

    • jesseg says:


      In New York, you have to fill out an online questionnaire, then the money can be direct-deposited to your checking account within a couple days.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is a much-needed bill and Governor Paterson deserves applause for pushing this through.

    It’s an essential in these hard times. Plus, the funding will come from the feds not the state government. In addition, as Paterson is correct to point out, these funds will be pumped directly back into our state economy.

    Excellent job, Governor

  13. oneandone says:

    Please correct me if I’m wrong – the 18 months unemployment benefits in NY is for your entire employed life, right? I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that people might get laid off a few times, and that each time it could take several months to find a new job.

    I wonder how often someone is collecting unemployment for a year or more vs. someone collecting for a few months with a longer employed period in the middle.

    • nybiker says:

      @oneandone: It is NOT for your entire life. In New York State the maximum weekly benefit is $405 (which was last increased in 2000 or 2001 or thereabouts). Your actual benefit is a function of how much you were actually earning and for how long. You can visit the NYS dept of labor website [[]]if you wish to know the gory details of how they calculate it. I was laid off as of Jan 1, 2009. My claim is for a year. The regular benefit is for 26 weeks out of that year. So, without any extensions, or actual employment on my part, my $405 check would end in the beginning of July 2009. Now if I work a week here and there and earn more than $405 in said week, well, I don’t have to file for actual benefit (but still make the online claim so the state knows I worked for a week), and my benefit gets pushed a week or two out into July. As of recent extensions, I should be able to continue with the unemployment benefits til at least the end of the year, but I would like to find full-time employment instead. The problem I have is that the $1620 per month I get doesn’t cover my monthly nut, so it’s not like I’m just coasting. I’m burning through my ’emergency savings’ that we all have (right, you all have an emergency savings?).

      And if anyone knows anyone that needs an OpenVMS system administrator, please let me know.

  14. nakedscience says:

    Everyone thinking that people on unemployment are lazy and will not look for work wihle unemployment because it’s “free money” (it’s not) need to get a reality check.

    • DerangedRoleModel says:

      @nakedscience: These are the same people who probably went to those Tax Day Tea Party events and listen to Rush Limbaugh.

      They’d decry a “reality check” as some sort of OMG SOCIALISM COMMUNISM WE’RE GONNA TURN INTO EUROPE thing.

  15. sasquatch28 says:

    OMG…Thank god cause I’m on my last week now. And for anyone that may be complaining about this then they must be living under a rock, cause there are just 0 jobs out there and I think I may have given myself an ulcer worrying about what I’m gonna do. This is the first I’ve heard about this so excuse my excitement. I finally may be able to sleep tonight.

  16. MoreFunThanToast says:

    My goodness, I’m on the verge or being laid off and just today I found out about this UI thing, (yes I’ve been under a rock).

    So relieved, as I had no savings and I’ve been looking for a job for a month now, so far, nothing. And no, I’m not picky, just need enough pay to cover my day to day expense.

    I’m sure there are people who takes UI and be lazy, but please do realize that the amount does not add up to what one would make on a real job. To many of us, it’s a life saver in a economy like this.

  17. MarktMan says:

    Unemployment pays a maximum of $405/week in NY. Not enough to stop me from looking for a job… Maybe if you live in the boondocks, but not NYC Metro…

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m on unemployment in the State of Washington after being laid off in January. Let me say that I’ve been looking like crazy for a job ever since, and there just isn’t much out there, even with a master’s degree in Engineering.

    I HATE being on unemployment, but it does help a ton until I find a new job. My main concern is trying to keep my career moving forward (I’m just a year out of school, so I’m still in learning mode working towards the experience to get a PE) and finding the right new job that will allow my career to go in the direction I want it to.

    6 months ago, I thought the same thing about unemployment as all you naysayers who posted. I really didn’t even know the difference between welfare and unemployment. If you don’t believe these extended benefits are important, go to any suburban shopping mall’s food court at lunch time. You’ll see folks like me there, eating cheap food just to get out of the house during the day between sending resumes. I see quite a few men my dad’s age who look like the pride has been sucked out them. Those people are the one’s that I feel really bad for!!

  19. sanjsrik says:

    I can just hear the roar of approval now, 13 more weeks of $405/week.

    Um, folks that’s $1620 to anyone as math impaired as I am. I can’t pay my rent and eat with that in NY and I live in Brooklyn, not like the tourists who live in Manhattan, gods only know what those brain trusts are doing.

  20. sanjsrik says:

    Oh, and the AFLCIU actually has a posting about this that the rate for unemployment hasn’t gone up in 10 years. Essentially, it works out to about $10/hour.

    Considering that McDonald’s wouldn’t hire half of these folks because they’re too overqualified, it’s a heck of big comedown from what they were making.

    I don’t think these folks are lazy at all, we’ve been decimated job-wise here in NYC. LOTS of people are out of work simply because the greedy took what they wanted and STILL walked away with bonuses.

  21. El-Kabong says:

    As an unemployed person (3 weeks so far) I can assure you I’m working harder now than I did while employed. I’m on the phones daily with recruiters and companies begging not only for positions I qualify for but lesser positions simply so I could work again.

    Please don’t assume that we’re all sitting on our behinds abusing the system.

  22. billbobbins says:

    Maybe if Giuliani hadn’t taken all of the adult entertainment off of 42nd street…

  23. Winteridge2 says:

    Reminds me of the groundhog seeing his shadow: NY predicts 13 more weeks of the recession/depression.