THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Eight New York State Senators have written to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labour, Roberta Reardon, asking for criteria to be altered to help more resident New Yorkers currently abroad claim unemployment benefits.
In a letter sent last week, State Senators Brian Kavanagh, Andrew Gounardes, Brad Hoylman, Robert Jackson, Liz Krueger, Kevin Parker, Gustavo River and Julia Salazar explained that they are "hearing from constituents regarding another gap in the manner in which unemployment benefits are being administered that we believe should be reconsidered in the face of the ongoing public health crisis". Expanding, the letter notes that "There are a significant number of long-term residents of New York who have been stuck abroad due to health concerns, caregiving responsibilities, travel restrictions, or simply a lack of funds to return to the United States. These individuals are currently without any hopes of receiving benefits they would otherwise be entitled to if they were in New York".
The existing rules are based on the understanding that those who aren't currently resident in New York wouldn't be available to work in the state, and therefore wouldn't be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, in this letter, the State Senators argue that "this factor should be considered differently given the global disruption that the pandemic has caused. Any concern about the appropriateness of granting benefits to New Yorkers currently not physically in the state can be addressed without categorically denying benefits to all applicants who find themselves in that circumstance."
The State Senators propose that NY Department of Labor reconsiders its approach to New Yorkers living outside the USA, in order to expand benefits "to those who can verify the authenticity of their New York residency, provide all associated documentation, and perhaps look for work remotely until they can return to the state."
This could be an interesting development for American residents who have found themselves overseas for extended periods of time due to coronavirus. We will update you when/if we hear more.
To read the full letter, Click Here