Nextgov: Lawmakers Call for Federal Program to Upgrade Unemployment Systems

“The Labor Department would establish and maintain computer and cybersecurity technology that states could incorporate into their unemployment insurance systems under a bill that a group of Democratic senators are backing…”

“’Last year, there were states that processed the equivalent of 10 years of unemployment applications within 10 months,’ Scott Sanders, the association’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

But in many states, people have run into frustrating delays as the agencies that process claims struggle with heavy workloads. Meanwhile, glitchy and outdated computer technology is a long-standing problem for state unemployment systems. And the surge in pandemic-era unemployment helped set the stage for scammers to snatch away billions of dollars in fraudulent payouts.

These are the sorts of issues the senators are aiming to address with their legislation.

‘My bill requires a complete overhaul of unemployment insurance technology, and paves the way for one website to apply for jobless benefits,’ said U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, of Oregon, the bill’s lead sponsor.

If enacted, the legislation would give the Labor Department up to two years to develop and implement a ‘modular set of technology capabilities,’ using an ‘open systems approach,’ to help…” Read the full article here.

Source: Lawmakers Call for Federal Program to Upgrade Unemployment Systems – By Bill Lucia, February 19, 2021. Nextgov.

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