RESOURCES and SUPPORT for all of us affected by COVID-19
Our commitment to the well-being of our customers and our local communities remains as strong as ever
In response to current COVID-19 guidance to limit gathering opportunities and based on the Governor’s mandate to reduce office staffing by up to 100%, our One Stop Career Center is temporarily closed to the public. Staff will be working on a limited rotating schedule.
We will continue to update the resources and information below with the latest we have available.
Stay well Niagara - we are in this together!
>> Resources to assist affected Businesses can be found HERE <<
Latest Updates from.....
Important Information for Unemployment Insurance Claimants: (as of 4/9/20)
*** The NYS Department of Labor will be launching a streamlined unemployment insurance (UI) application and process tomorrow morning (Friday 4/10) at 7:30am. ***
They also informed customers their new call-back system for UI claims is now in place:
*IF YOU HAVE BEEN INSTRUCTED TO CALL THEIR TELEPHONE CLAIM CENTER to complete your claim, you NO LONGER NEED TO CALL. A representative from the NYS Department of Labor will call you back within 72 hours.
*Due to enormous volume, there has been a considerable wait time. Hopefully the streamlined process with be much faster, but please be patient; everyone who is entitled will get their benefits.*
THE BEST WAY TO FILE YOUR UI CLAIM IS ONLINE...see the "If you are filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim" section below.
The CARES Act was enacted on Friday, March 27, 2020. Please see the CARES Act web page for information about how the Act may affect UI benefits.
If you already have an active UI claim;
- Please DO NOT call....it will only make it difficult for others to reach an agent.
- DO NOTHING......your benefits will AUTOMATICALLY be updated
- What you may qualify to receive:
26 weeks of UI benefits.
An additional $600/week until 7/31/2020. (Beginning 4/5/2020)
An additional 13 weeks of UI benefits if you are still unemployed after 26 weeks.
If you have exhausted/expired UI benefits:
There are a few different situations, please read through to determine which fits you:
- If your benefit year has not expired, but you exhausted your 26 weeks of benefits, you will receive a letter from NYS DOL advising you to begin certifying to receive the additional 13 weeks of benefits.
- If your benefit year has not expired, but you stopped claiming benefits before your 26 weeks were up (for example, if you went back to work), simply begin certifying for benefits again to start receiving UI benefits.
- If your benefit year expired after July 1, 2019, you will need to file a new claim to receive 13 additional weeks of benefits. You will receive a letter in the mail from the NYS DOL with more details.
Log in with your NY.GOV ID
Click on "go to my online forms"
Complete the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Application
- You may qualify to receive:
13 weeks of benefits.
An additional $600/week until 7/31/2020.
(Payments begin 4/5/2020)
- If you have had your work hours lessened, you are encouraged to apply.
- *Business Owners can also apply*
- If you are self-employed, you may now file for Unemployment Insurance benefits online. For more Info
- NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.
THE BEST WAY TO FILE YOUR UI CLAIM IS ONLINE
The day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name:
If your last name starts with A - F, file your claim on Monday.
For last names starting with G - N, file your claim Tuesday.
For last names starting with O - Z, file your claim on Wednesday.
If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed. Any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid for all benefits due.
If you have to call the telephone claims center regarding your claim, call 1-888-209-8124 during the hours of operation:
Monday through Friday, 8 am to 7:30 pm.
Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm.
*PLEASE NOTE: the telephone claims center cannot help you with issues related to your NY.gov account, such as difficulty logging in, changing your personal information or resetting your password.
If you are having trouble with an NY.Gov account:
To speak with a representative regarding an NY.Gov account, please call 1-800-833-3000 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST
Additional Resources and Information A-Z
- 211 has a variety of very helpful information and updates related to services impacted by Coronavirus
- Childcare for Essential Workers with school-aged children in the Lockport area, provided by Cornerstone CFCU Arena and Youth Mentoring Services.
Also, the Community Child Care Clearinghouse of Niagara can assist families of essential workers that are in need of childcare assistance. Call the Clearinghouse Hotline at (716) 285-8572 x109 or x105 for help finding childcare in your area.
- DMV - NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Feed More WNY - Meals on Wheels and Food Bank of WNY (716) 852-1305
- Financial "Checkup" and advice - Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Buffalo is offering free financial checkups by phone and encourages all those concerned with their financial issues to call (716) 712-2060 or visit www.consumercreditbuffalo.org
- Food Pantry Map for the City of Niagara Falls *You are encouraged to call before going to be sure they are open*
- Lockport Food Pantries: Call for times
NIACAP - 80 Washburn St., Lockport, NY 14094.........433-6632
The Salvation Army Worship -50 Cottage St. ..............434-1276
Grace Episcopal Church - 100 Genesee St. ..................433-2878
- North Tonanwanda Food Pantry: 100 Ridge Road, North Tonawanda, NY 14120 Monday - Friday 10am - 12:30pm
- Ransomville / Sanborn / Youngstown / Lewiston: Care and Share Food Pantry, 3628 Ransomville Rd. Ransomville, NY 14131. Tuesday 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm / Thursday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm / Saturday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Little Free Pantry locations in the greater Buffalo area...."take what you need, leave what you can"
- Headspace - NYS is partnering with Headspace to provide FREE mindfulness, meditation, and mental health resources to all New Yorkers.
- Healthy NY - New York State of Health - special enrollment period open through April 15th for uninsured individuals to ease Coronavirus fears.
*If you recently lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus*
- Housing questions/concerns - The State's Homes and Community Renewal Agency has set up a Frequently Asked Questions page with information about housing issues for tenants, landlords and homeowners.
- Internet - FREE internet for students provided by Charter Spectrum
Households with students K–12 or university students can sign up for a new Charter Spectrum internet account to get the first two months of internet with speeds up to 100 Mbps for free. Installation fees will be waived for those who qualify for the offer. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll.
Spectrum Wi-Fi hotspots are also currently open and free to use.
>>>> JOBS!!! Check here for who's hiring now! <<<<
- Life Insurance premiums - The Governor announced on 3/27/20 that for a 90-day period, New Yorkers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums.
Late payments will be payable over a one-year period. Additionally, consumers and small businesses experiencing Coronavirus-related financial hardship may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for a 60-day period. This includes auto, homeowners, renters and other kinds of insurance. (No late fees will be assessed and there will be no negative impact to your credit.)
- My Benefits - to apply for SNAP- nutrition assistance, HEAP- heating assistance, Temporary Income Assistance
- National Grid - On March 13th we temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardships for our customers. These policies will remain in effect at least until the end of April, when we will evaluate their continued need. National Grid is also not charging late payment charges.
- NFTA - Fares suspended on all NFTA Metro Bus and Rail services. Riders temporarily ride for FREE
- Private College Tuition Assistance - Students attending five area private colleges (Hilbert, Canisius, Daemen, Houghton and St. Bonaventure) are eligible for assistance of up to $250 in COVID-19 emergency relief funds from the SAGE scholars, who have pledged $100,000 to aid students attending any of its more than 400 colleges and universities. Students who want to apply should contact their school's financial aid office.
- Tax Day - Both the Federal and NYS tax filing deadlines have been extended to July 15th, 2020
Home with the kids? Here are some activity ideas!
- Niagara County Sheriff's Department Reading to WNY kids on YouTube or Facebook
- Playworks "Play at Home" Live Virtual Recess supports kids' healthy movement and play while students are home. Monday thru Friday at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm EST