State plans to spend $80 million in federal funds to update antiquated unemployment system

State officials said Flexion was chosen through a competitive request-for-proposals process that brought in 18 submissions.

Neeraj Kulkarni, DWD chief information officer, said department officials will begin creating an implementation roadmap with Flexion to plan out IT updates and claimants should be able to notice initial changes to the state’s unemployment system “very soon.”

Pechacek said other changes to the unemployment process include updated call centers, which will launch next week and be fully implemented by February 2022, and a virtual career center that will go live in the coming days that aims to better connect job seekers with prospective employers in the state.

“In terms of guarantees, I think we’re putting all of the systems in place to ensure, to the best of our ability, that we are able to respond quickly to any changes we see in the future,” Pechacek said.

Pechacek also said the department has increased the number of administrative law judges, who preside over the appeals process for unemployment claims, from 17 before the pandemic to more than 60. She said the department is continuing to recruit additional judges.

Despite those efforts, the department continues to come under fire, particularly from state Republicans, over reported delays in processing claims or settling adjudication needs or appeals.


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