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PRESS RELEASE: New Legal Help Line Available to Those Seeking Unemployment and Paid Family Leave Benefits

Kristi Hughes April 29, 2020

Empire Justice Center Offering Legal Advice and Services Relating to Unemployment Benefits and Paid Family Leave        

Civil Legal Services Law Firm Launching Unemployment and Paid Leave Legal Help Line

April 29, 2020 – As unemployment claims skyrocket due to the job losses caused by coronavirus, more New Yorkers will need access to critical unemployment assistance to help pay their rent and keep food on the table during this crisis. Empire Justice Center is meeting this need.

Today, thanks to funding received through the Rochester Area Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Rochester’s Community Crisis Fund, Empire Justice is announcing the launch of the Unemployment and Paid Leave Legal Help Line. 

People in New York who have lost their job or who are seeking Emergency Paid Sick and Family and Medical Leave in response to the covid-19 crisis can now call (800) 724-0490 ext. 5827 to be connected with an attorney.  Attorneys will provide legal advice and counsel regarding the New York State Unemployment Insurance program, which has been recently modified and dramatically expanded to help people who are unable to work or who lost their jobs as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.  Attorneys will also provide legal help regarding new laws enacted by the federal and NY state governments to provide additional paid leave and job protections to New Yorkers.

“Our goal is to be able to answer questions about the new Pandemic Employment Assistance program and the new federal and paid leave programs for low income working families and individuals.  We will also seek to assist unemployed workers in obtaining expanded unemployment benefits. The needs are real and unprecedented: Since mid-March, over 1.5 million New Yorkers have applied for unemployment insurance,” said Peter Dellinger, Senior Attorney.

“We are so grateful for the leadership of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and hte United Way of Greater Rochester in galvanizing support for the Community Crisis Fund to meet the immediate needs of organizations that serve low-income and vulnerable residents,” stated Kristin Brown, President and CEO.  “Because of this funding, we are able to shift our resources to quickly respond to the emerging civil legal needs that are a result of the coronavirus crisis,”

For additional resources and FAQs regarding legal issues impacting low-income families as a result of this crisis, please visit https://empirejustice.org/covid-19-resources/

Empire Justice is a leading statewide nonprofit law firm and policy advocacy organization working to make the law work for All New Yorkers, especially those who need its protection the most. Empire Justice employs over 60 attorneys, paralegals and administrative professional staff who provide a blend of training, legal assistance and policy advocacy from its five offices in Rochester, Albany, Yonkers, White Plains and Central Islip.

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