The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) recently announced it has put enforcement measures in place to avert employment certification delays for those applying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). This program allows eligible full-time public service and nonprofit workers to apply to have the remainder of their federal student loan debt forgiven after 120 qualifying payments.
“Our public service workers are the backbone of our communities, and we are dedicated to ensuring access to Public Service Loan Forgiveness for each and every one of them,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Our labor standards team is ready to help anyone struggling to obtain employment certification and help get them back on track right away.”
On Sept. 15, 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation to streamline the PSLF process for those who work in public service and the nonprofit sector. The new law established uniform qualifications for full-time employees to access PSLF, and allowed public service employers to certify employment on behalf of workers – her team said, “eliminating substantial barriers to applying for and accessing this important relief.”
Workers who experience delays obtaining employment certification from their employers can report it to NYSDOL’s Division of Labor Standards.
Public service and qualifying not-for-profit employers can now certify employment for the PSLF program in two ways:
√ Direct certification: If authorized by the U.S. Department of Education, public service employers are permitted to send employment certification materials directly to the U.S. Department of Education.
√ Other certifications: If a public service employer does not directly certify employment with the U.S. Department of Education, then it must annually certify employment and provide a copy of the PSLF form with the employer information and employment certification sections of the form completed to:
•An employee who requests a public service loan forgiveness form;
•Any current employee for whom the public service employer has previously certified employment; and
•An employee who is ending work with the public service employer.
A public service employer includes state, county, city or other local governments, as well as any employer that has received designation as an IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. For more related to the PSLF, visit NYSDOL’s PSLF webpage.
New Yorkers experiencing delays in having their employment certified can contact NYSDOL’s Division of Labor Standards, who will reach out to the employers in the investigation process and educate them on the new legislation and how to complete the necessary paperwork to certify employment. NYSDOL will also initiate a public service campaign to educate workers and businesses alike on the new process. If employers do not comply, they will be subject to an order to comply.
A press release said, “Approximately 2.7 million New Yorkers work in the public or nonprofit sectors are eligible for PSLF, and with recent legislation being enacted, it is easier than ever to apply and be approved.
“Since 2007, the PSLF program has helped eligible public service workers receive an average of $61,402 in debt relief – providing public servants the opportunity to instead put that money towards other expenses and savings.
“If you are experiencing issues related to having an employer certify employment, please reach out to the NYSDOL’s Division of Labor Standards at [email protected] or 888-4-NYSDOL.”