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Colorado unemployment office plans to use biometric ID verification to battle fraud – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-01-14 15:16:49 –

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has introduced a new identification system using biometrics to address the months-long problem of pandemic unemployment fraud.

The service, called ID.me, is being used by the unemployment departments in 27 other states, confirming that the people applying for unemployment are who they say, said Joe Barela, executive director of the Ministry of Labor. He said on a phone call with reporters on Thursday.

“We will release this identification process in order for them to begin clearing (their) claims so that if they are actually real people, we will pay for their claims. You can get started, “Barrera said.

Conducting a verification process by January 27 to scrutinize users for pandemic unemployment support is part of a federal edict. The federal-funded PUA, which became available to self-employed and gig workers last spring, was also hit hardest by criminals applying for benefits using stolen IDs. It was.

According to Barrera, ID.me will be used to help people whose legitimate unemployment insurance claims have been flagged for fraud for weeks or months. They will eventually use facial recognition to verify their identity and first gain access to pay for unemployed claims. All new unemployment claims must go through ID.me or “result in a claim pending”. Those who need to go through the process should receive a link to start the validation process.

Would you like to get a Relia Card from US Bank by email? If you do not apply for unemployment allowance, it may be a fraudulent claim. Protect your identity by submitting a fraud report form to the Colorado Labor and Employment Department at cdle.colorado.gov/fraud-prevention. (Tamarachuan, Colorado San)

According to the Virginia-based company’s site, the technology checks the physical identity of the user’s mobile network operator and checks for other fraud and compliance. It is used by more than 22 million people and 350 partners, including federal and state institutions, healthcare and financial institutions.

However, ID.me takes a long time to implement and test, and authorities have stated that the release date is “the next 1-2 weeks, if not earlier.” And it’s affecting the rollout of new 11-week federal benefits to those who have run out of regular state jobs or are using PUA.

The Ministry of Labor is also programming a new computer system to pay an additional $ 300 as a federal benefit and has not announced when payments will begin.

Phil Spechard, Health Services Manager at the State Department of Labor, said: “I know a lot of people are worried about when they will get paid.” For many of those individuals, it’s now three weeks … and we have to wait a bit longer. “

But you need to remember, he added, Congress was waiting until the last week of the old bailout plan, the CARES Act, to get the new plan through. President Donald Trump did not sign the law until the day after the old program ended, and the U.S. Department of Labor must analyze it before providing guidance to the states that came on January 8. did not.

“Once again, I realized that individuals were waiting for payments for more than three weeks, and for six days I got all the information to start processing and developing a new system,” he said. ..

State fixes new bill for fraud

Fraud has skyrocketed again in recent weeks, and the Ministry of Labor has corrected new weekly bills in the past. No one has been able to file a new PUA claim since Christmas because the federal program expired on December 26th. However, in a new claim for regular unemployment, the state has deducted 31,237 from the last three weeks and is now considered fraudulent.

Here are the new weekly billing adjustments for people who are regularly unemployed:

  • Weeks ending December 19: decreased from 18,121,24,397
  • Weeks ending December 26: Decreased from 16,660, 25,360
  • Weeks ending on January 2: 25,178, down from 41,439

And there are many who insist on holding fraud. State officials said 800,000 PUA accounts have been flagged through fraud prevention efforts since early summer, and that there are an additional 150,000 accounts within the state’s normal unemployment system. $ 10 million was paid for what is currently considered fraudulent, but $ 7 billion was unable to leave the state’s financial resources.

“It’s important to note that we’re walking a tightrope here,” Barrera said. “We want to provide benefits to those who currently need unemployment insurance as soon as possible, but we also have a system in place to protect our funds and profits from fraudulent claims. I want to. “

Since mid-March, nearly one million people have made new claims and the State Department of Labor has paid $ 6.9 billion in regular and federal unemployment allowances.

As of January 2, 308,015 people continue to claim benefits each week. Of these, 146,723 have a normal unemployment rate, up from 109,373 last week. The rest received federal benefits.

An additional 14,123 new claims were filed during the week leading up to January 9. That number was down from 25,178 new bills last week. Ryan Gedney, senior economist at the Ministry of Labor, said he did not consider it an economic indicator at all. Rather, the Ministry of Labor has asked 500,000 people to request payment for the upcoming week by January 3, as the system was shut down due to a major computer upgrade.

Unemployment upgrade

The new system went live on January 10th, but only for regular unemployed people who need to request weekly payments. Currently, there is one computer system for handling regular and pandemic billing. State officials hope this will speed up the process of account processing and payments.

As of Wednesday, 185,000 people have logged in to their accounts since the upgrade on Sunday. Approximately 80,000 people requested payment and $ 18 million was paid. One of the unemployed call centers received more than 33,000 calls over the same period and 36,000 helped with callbacks, Barrera said, adding that users can provide feedback on open issues.

With new fraud protection, some people who have been unemployed on a regular basis for months may withhold fraud, also known as a “honesty” issue. Those people need to double-check through the new ID.me tool, which is not yet ready.

“I think the system is working as planned,” Barela said. “There were some glitches that allowed us to fix them.”

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