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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1

    Question Can't Get Through to NYS Dept of Labor on the Phone

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Can't Get Through to NYS Dept of Labor on the Phone

    You need to try to get through by the phone number you have. You need to assume that benefits won't be retroactive.

    What happens if you don't press any buttons when you enter their menu system? Some automated systems will send you to an operator. What happens if you call the Out of State number - there's a possibility that the call volume will be lower and that, at the end you'll be transferred to an in-state representative. (Of course, there's also a chance they'll tell you to call back at the correct number.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Can't Get Through to NYS Dept of Labor on the Phone

    I also have been trying for over a week I think I screwed up when I said My old boss owed me vacation pay,,,

    the 5 minute busy call is maddening and wrong

    there has got to be a better way to get through to them, I'm in panic mode now... I have 3 weeks coming,,, its rediculous

    then at 20 after 4 they say due to high call volume they will not be able to get to my call by the end of business day,,call back another day..

    something HAS to be done... My wife and kids need food, I need my unemployment, for gods sake.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Can't Get Through to NYS Dept of Labor on the Phone

    I'm in the same boat now. Recently laid off a job and when I applied for my unemployment, I mentioned that I had an outstanding workers comp case active. Two days ago, I received a letter from the NYS Labor Dept. asking for a C-8 form from Workers Comp. Now the workers comp case has been active since September (I suffered an on the job concussion that had me out of work for about a month Aug - Sept.), however since the state has not heard anything back from my previous employers insurance, I have not received a dime from workers comp, nor have I received Compensation C-8 form.

    I'd like to explain this to unemployment, knowing that it could be cleared up by someone from unemployment speaking with someone from workers comp to verify my claim. When I've tried to call unemployment (repeatedly), as the above posters have, I'm met with the same "we're unable to take your call" message and a disconnect. I've tried calling workers comp, and the woman I spoke with there told me to visit my local Dept. of Labor office on 125th St, in Harlem. I did that just now, only to be told that the only way to reach unemployment with an inquiry is via telephone. Is this true? So the entire system is automated and there is no alternate way to reach anyone regarding this??? I tried various things while connected to the automated phone service - pressing 0, # and nothing at all, and still I get nothing. As the above poster said, it takes nearly about 7 minutes to go through all the phone options only to meet up with a dead end, over and over. I don't have a land line, so not only is this frustrating, it's eating up my cell phone minutes!

    This is whole situation is absolutely ridiculous and I'm very angry over it. I'll be on to my 2nd claim week on Sunday and I see no end in sight to this madness. Isn't there something that can be done? Someone who I can speak to in person?

    Gee I'm so glad to have been an honest, law abiding, tax paying citizen all these years. Thanks for nothing NYS.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Can't Get Through to NYS Dept of Labor on the Phone

    There has been a HUGE increase in the number of claims being filed in almost all states. Even if the state were able to immediately hire additional processors to work on claims and answer the phones, and it's doubtful that they can, it would take time to get them into place and train them.

    So the existing processors and phone-answerers are dealing with a hugely increased work load.

    I know it's frustrating. I've been there. But there's really nothing to do except keep calling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Can't Get Through to NYS Dept of Labor on the Phone

    I just find it amazing that this is the only way to contact the Dept. of Labor regarding unemployment. What if I was deaf? How about if one's phone is shut off because they can't pay their phone bill??? There isn't even an email address with which to contact them? What if I were to send a letter to the NYS Dept. of Labor Albany address? Does that reach anyone or is it thrown in the trash?

    Apparently I'm far from the only one who assumed that you can actually speak to someone in person, since the man at the office in Harlem told me that people come to his office every day with hopes of having their unemployment questions answered.

    I guess this is their way of cooking the numbers and keeping unemployment as low as possible (good luck in this economic climate) - make the system so difficult to navigate that people give up trying to claim what they are entitled to.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Can't Get Through to NYS Dept of Labor on the Phone

    I finally got through and was put on hold for 20 minutes, the whole time I worried about being booted for some reason or my cordless phone dieing, but i did get though after 8 days! so there is hope.

    btw I even tried this,,,,, when it asked me for me represenitives extension I just kept pushing a bunch of buttons... I finally got someone's voice mail and left a desperate message,,, and guess what??? she called me back feeling sorry for me and willing to help me, but I was not at the phone and she left a message with no contact number since i had her extension which I didn't bother to think about keeping, I was out of my mind

    just keep trying one call after another, I got through thursday at 4:00 on the button.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Can't Get Through to NYS Dept of Labor on the Phone

    I guess this is their way of cooking the numbers and keeping unemployment as low as possible (good luck in this economic climate) - make the system so difficult to navigate that people give up trying to claim what they are entitled to.

    Why do you persist in believing that this is something that is being done deliberately to prevent people from getting through, instead of recognizing that this is the result of an understaffed and underfunded agency suddenly being hit by a ton of new claims without receiving additional personnel to work it?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Can't Get Through to NYS Dept of Labor on the Phone

    Quote Quoting cbg
    View Post
    I guess this is their way of cooking the numbers and keeping unemployment as low as possible (good luck in this economic climate) - make the system so difficult to navigate that people give up trying to claim what they are entitled to.

    Why do you persist in believing that this is something that is being done deliberately to prevent people from getting through, instead of recognizing that this is the result of an understaffed and underfunded agency suddenly being hit by a ton of new claims without receiving additional personnel to work it?

    The lady told me that this isn't her normal job and was transferred over to claims to help with the load... she says its relentless nonstop calling, crazy.
    they are doing all they can do with the tools they were given. there are just way too many people unemployed right now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Can't Get Through to NYS Dept of Labor on the Phone

    My point exactly.

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