My question involves unemployment benefits for the state of: New York
Alright, so about 10 days ago I received a large pile of mail including a few letters from the department of labor informing me that I needed to show up in person to the local offices for a meeting, this is no big deal as I have done this before (I had to do it after about two weeks of claiming, I've been claiming for about 9 at this point). Along with that letter, which I guess I had received late, was another saying that my benefits have been suspended for missing a meeting and that I must immediately report to the offices to continue receiving my benefits. I got the letter on a friday afternoon so first thing monday I showed up to the office, talked to the folks there, talked about the sorts of jobs I'm interested and picked up some literature, etc. The man told me that he made note of my appearance and that all I have to do is call NYS dept of labor, talk to a claim specialist and they'll get me back on track.
Here's where it gets tricky. I've been calling up to 12 times a day for the last 8 days trying to get through to someone and it's getting very frustrating, you have to go through at the very minimum 5-7 minutes of menu after menu of automated recordings for it to tell you a number of excuses such as "due to an unexpectedly high volume of calls we're unable to speak with you" or "due to technical difficulties we're unable to take your call, please call back later" and then it hangs up, not even giving you a chance to hold. I even called up the local office and the guy told me that the ONLY way I can continue to get benefits if i call them and clear things up. He then proceeded to tell me that he knows how difficult it is to reach someone and that on mondays and tuesdays it's nearly impossible. But like i've said, i've been persisting every day, and still - no luck. It is ridiculous, I haven't gotten my benefits in two weeks and with the holiday season coming up I'm starting to get desperate. I realize that the economy isn't the best of shape and we've got record numbers of people on unemployment, but there's got to be a way I can get to the bottom of this.
If anyone can help me out with some sort of insight, an email address, a direct line, someone's extension, anything, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Also, does anyone know if during suspension of benefits the payments are retroactive so that in the off-chance that I reach a human being and get this squared away I can receive the last couple weeks pay?
Thanks so much.