Kentucky to implement new identification requirements for unemployment insurance claimants from November 4

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In an effort to mitigate fraud and allow state unemployment officials to focus on helping Kentuckians with legitimate claims, the Office of Unemployment Insurance will require all claimants to respond. to a new identity verification requirement starting this week.

As of November 4, all Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants who have not verified their identity with ID.me, a third-party identity verification provider, will need to create an account with the company. and verify their identity to access their request.

Labor Cabinet Secretary Jamie Link said requiring all applicants to go through ID.me before they can access the portal is the cabinet’s latest maneuver to coerce the malicious actors who have filled the system with unemployment insurance fraudulent claims during the global COVID-19 pandemic. . These fraudulent claims, he said, have hampered the agency’s ability to deliver timely benefits to Kentuckians who rightly deserve them.

“This strategic move should help reduce the number of fraudulent unemployment insurance claims that have weighed on the program,” Link said. “This will dramatically reduce the time our employees spend working or even processing fraudulent claims and will allow us to realign our resources to help claimants who have waited far too long for help. ”

ID.me is a federally certified technology partner used by more than two dozen states and several federal agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration.

ID.me will become the entry point for all applicants through a new single sign-on portal. The Kentucky-ID.me partnership will ensure that eligible people receive unemployment insurance benefits while protecting taxpayers and fighting international and domestic fraud networks.

State unemployment officials began using ID.me in June as part of a series of actions to curb fraud and began targeting thousands of dormant claims over the summer.

From June 30 to September 1, the agency sent more than 126,000 emails to email addresses associated with dormant complaints, demanding that the identity associated with those complaints be verified within a specific time frame.

By mid-September, the national unemployment office had issued written decisions on 112,801 of those 126,000 claims, effectively disqualifying them. As of October 25, a total of 539,529 decisions had been made on complaints without identity verification.

Another measure taken by the Governor’s administration, after having inherited an unemployment insurance operation running on an operational computer system since the 1970s and considered to be functionally obsolete, is to correct a legacy of underfunding of the system. unemployment insurance.

The call for tenders for a new computer system closed on Tuesday. The Kentucky Office of Finance and Administration and an evaluation committee will review vendor proposals. Once a vendor is selected, the new system should take between 18-24 months to develop and implement in order to get it right.

This year, Governor Beshear also delivered in-person unemployment assistance to career centers, significantly increasing the capacity to assist with claims.

Applicants can make an appointment in person or by phone at any Kentucky Career Center regional office, regardless of their location. They can simply select a phone appointment option if they do not wish to come to that office when they make the appointment.

The most recent budget proposed by the Governor also included General Fund spending of $ 1.1 million in fiscal year 2021 and $ 8.4 million in fiscal year 2022 to provide funds for reinstate employees to help with unemployment claims in the 12 Commonwealth Career Centers, but the General Assembly withdrew this funding from the budget.

Additional information is available from the Kentucky Career Center at kcc.ky.gov

From the Kentucky Labor Office


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