KDOL slowly catching up with months-long backlog

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 6:29 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The backlog of pandemic unemployment assistance claims has been cut by more than 60% since November according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

The numbers are overwhelming when you look at the number of unemployment claims KDOL is receiving on a daily basis. PUA is assistance is available to those who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, and others who may not typically be covered by traditional unemployment. The backlog of PUA claims was around 25,000 this past November. Today, it’s slightly 9,912. As for regular unemployment claims, they’ve slashed those significantly--from 25,000 at the end of June to just 723 as of Monday.

A major issue KDOL employees face is attempting to stop fraudulent claims. In fact, as of January 5th, they’ve stopped more than 253,000 fraudulent claims. That primarily impacts PUA claims. It averages out to about 2,300 fraud claims every day.

KDOL is handling about 500 PUA issues a day with its adjudicators. Most claimants have multiple issues. Each person typically has an average of 4.3 issues, and it’s not unusual for a claimant to have more than 100! Right now, KDOL is clearing about 100 PUA claims a day.

Now, while KDOL has made progress eliminating the backlog of regular unemployment claims, they are limited in what they can do to speed up that process. There are specific timelines set in state statute.

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