Paid Sick Leave
Protecting All New Yorkers During Uncertain Times
On March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed emergency legislation guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
This groundbreaking new measure will help ensure that New Yorkers are able to care for their family without jeopardizing their economic security and builds on the Governor’s unprecedented actions to protect and uplift workers and their families.
The new law enacts emergency paid sick leave to guarantee workers job protection and provide financial compensation while they are on a mandatory or precautionary quarantine due to the Coronavirus.
Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order on March 12, 2020 waiving the 7-day waiting period for workers in shared work programs to claim unemployment insurance for those that have been put out of work by COVID-19.
There is unprecedented call volume and web traffic to the New York State Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance claim center. Unfortunately, some claimants are not able to get through as fast as they should. Please be patient and keep trying. And know that you will receive all benefits to which you are entitled. Your claim will start on the day you were separated from your employer.
On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed the CARES act, which provides additional Unemployment Insurance assistance to workers impacted by COVID-19. This new law provides:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – Extended eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for UI benefits (e.g., self-employed workers, independent contractors);
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation – An additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all UI recipients; and
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – An additional 13 weeks of UI benefits, beyond the regular 26 weeks already provided, for a total of 39 weeks of coverage.
On April 8, 2020, Governor Cuomo directed the State Department of Labor to immediately make $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits available to all New Yorkers. The additional benefits were included in the Federal CARES Act, but, unlike other states, New York began delivering the extra unemployment insurance to unemployed individuals before Federal funds are disbursed to the states. New York is also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks.
Find frequently asked questions about the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and general information about Unemployment Insurance in the wake of COVID-19.
Guidance for Self-Employed Individuals
Find step-by-step directions for self-employed individuals on how to file an unemployment insurance claim on the New York State's Department of Labor's website.
Special Enrollment Period for NY State of Health
Uninsured New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health or directly to insurers during a special enrollment period that ends May 15, 2020. If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, subsidized Qualified Health Plans or Child Health Plus.
Telehealth Co-payments Waived
If you are feeling sick, use telehealth services before going to the doctor's office, urgent care or the emergency room. Telehealth services keep you safer and those around you safer.
The State Department of Financial Services will require insurance companies to waive co-pays for telehealth visits. This action will encourage New Yorkers to seek medical attention from their homes rather than visit a hospital or doctor's office — ultimately reducing strain on the healthcare system and preventing further spread of the virus.
Free Mental Health Services
As of March 26, more than 8,600 mental health professionals, including individuals from other states, have signed up to provide free online mental health services.
New Yorkers can call the state's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment.
Individual or Small Group Health Insurance Policies
Through June 1, 2020, consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums under individual and small group health insurance policies. DFS shall consider any liquidity or solvency concerns of the health plans. During this period, health plans will be required to continue to pay claims, not to report late payments to credit rating agencies, and to work with individuals to help them transition to new coverage, if appropriate. In addition, insurers are reminded that they cannot impose late payment fees. Governor Cuomo thanked Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont for his collaboration on this initiative.
Mortgages and Rent
The Department of Financial Services has issued a new directive to New York State mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus.
The directive includes:
- Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship;
- No negative reporting to credit bureaus;
- Grace period for loan modification;
- No late payment fees or online payment fees; and
- Postponing or suspending foreclosures.
The Department of Financial Services has provided guidance to mortgage servicers regarding support for borrowers impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
New York has implemented a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants. At this time, eviction proceedings have been suspended and no one can be evicted in New York State until at least June 20.
The Governor has also asked DFS to instruct state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credits cards to help lessen the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers.
On April 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced an agreement with the largest student loan servicers in New York to obtain relief for student loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 who contact their private student loan servicer.
Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies, and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance program.
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, only provides relief to borrowers whose loans are owned by the federal government. This agreement with the student loan industry provides much-needed relief to these outstanding borrowers whose loans are privately owned.
Major utilities will suspend service shutoffs to households during the COVID-19 outbreak.
On March 25, the Public Service Commission approved orders postponing rate increases for nearly 2 million customers of New York American Water and National Grid upstate that were scheduled to go into effect on April 1st.
Testing is free to all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider or by calling the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
Your local health department is your community contact for COVID-19 concerns.