KDOL to set up new security system to fight unemployment insurance fraud

Kansas Department of Labor
Kansas Department of Labor(WIBW)
Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 5:10 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The deployment of a new system to fight unemployment insurance fraud at the Kansas Department of Labor will require a server downtime from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2.

The Kansas Department of Labor says it has a new partnership with LexisNexis to deploy identity verification software for unemployment insurance accounts and claims. It said the deployment of the new security system will be a major tool to combat identity theft.

According to KDOL, to deploy the system, it will need to take the unemployment benefit servers offline to upgrade them. It said the deployment procedure is similar in other states that have implemented identity verification software solutions as well.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the Kansas Department of Labor has been fighting two battles – processing a record number of unemployment claims with 40-year old IT systems and a record number of fraud,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “These upgrades will identify and stop the flood of fraudulent claims Kansas and states across the country have been fighting against, so the team at the Department of Labor will have more time to help unemployed Kansans.”

KDOL said once the security tools are deployed and are running, it expects to see a decline or outright elimination of fraudulent benefit notices that individuals and businesses have been getting from the department. It said the system will also have two-factor authentication so that claimants can more securely log in and access their accounts.

According to the department, in order to soften the impact on claimants’ needs, it plans to take the servers offline starting on Saturday, Jan. 30. It said it expects to complete the upgrade and return to normal operations by Tuesday morning, Feb. 2. In order to ensure unemployment benefit payments are not made on fraudulent claims, KDOL said it will hold payment of Regular Unemployment benefits until the new system is in operation on Feb. 2. It said claimants will get any back pay that is owed as a result of the hold at that time.

KDOL said benefit payments to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program will not be affected by the upgrade, but claimants will have to verify their identity within the new system when it is up and running.

According to KDOL, once the new system is brought back online, every claimant will be required to verify their identity by answering questions specific to the person’s credit history. It said once an identity is verified, the system will prompt the claimant to set up two-factor authentication for their benefits account moving forward. It said the additional layer of security is important to protect unemployment insurance accounts. This aspect of the anti-fraud solution will be delivered by the adaptive, multifactor authentication vendor Okta. It said for KDOL system integration, the agency is with its existing partner, Accenture.

KDOL said the partnership with Lexis Nexis will also enable it to make payments more quickly to legitimate claimants while also helping it fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities. It said it is continuing to aggressively monitor claims for fraudulent activity and is actively working with federal law enforcement officials to bring criminals to account.

According to KDOL, since March 15, 2020, it has paid out over 3.9 million weekly claims that total over $2.6 billion between regular unemployment and the federal pandemic programs.

For more information, or to apply for unemployment benefits, click here.

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