Iowa Workforce Development to Use Advance ID Verification Solution to Verify Unemployment Claims
December 28, 2023
Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) has announced a collaboration with ID.me, an online identity network company that allows people to verify their ID online, to streamline the ID verification process within the unemployment system.
IWD is a government agency in the American state of Iowa, responsible for overseeing workplace safety, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and job training services.
The Iowa individuals will be required to use ID.me for identity verification while filing for unemployment, establishing a more secure and efficient system to safeguard their personal information.
Commencing January 2, 2024, Iowa individuals filing for unemployment with IWD will be given the choice to verify their identity using ID.me. At present, the Iowa individuals who have filed for unemployment or are planning to do so are strongly recommended to create an ID.me account and undergo identity verification, as per press release by IWD.
How IWD plans to Enhance the ID Verification Process?
Unemployment claimants opting for ID.me for ID verification can experience a rapid verification process when submitting their initial claims. On the flip side, claimants who prefer not to use the ID verification process might face a delay in the processing of their claims.
However, from April 01, 2024, onwards, verification through ID.me will become compulsory for all claimants following the initial period.
IWD believes implementing ID.me will bring benefits to claimants, ensuring a faster verification process, increased accessibility, and reduction in fraud attempts to secure the digital privacy of claimants.
While talking about a partnership with ID.me Beth Townsend, Executive Director of IWD stated, “Our new partnership with ID.me will strengthen our unemployment system as a whole by reducing fraudulent claims and making it easier for claimants to establish their identity when they file without the need for additional follow-up steps. It benefits claimants and employers to have a secure unemployment system, and today’s efforts will help us maintain the integrity of the fund for years to come.”
IWD’s Options for Verification with ID.me
IWD is set to provide three verification options through ID.me to enhance accessibility and allow claimants to opt for verification methods as per their preferences. These options include;
- Online Self Service
- Video Chat Agent
- In-person verification
The ID verification process must be completed before submitting a claim rather than following the submission of the claim. As ID.me will be implemented from April 01, 2024, IWD recommends claimants get familiar with the new system.
How Much Was Lost Under Unemployment Insurance Program during COVID-19 Relief?
The implementation of ID.me by IWD for verifying the claimant’s identity aligns with the broader trend seen across the US during the COVID-19 relief period. Back to COVID-19, the US was among the countries affected greatly by the pandemic. In April 2020, the unemployment rate reached 14.8%, a figure not seen since 1948. To address the economic challenges, Federal Governments reportedly enacted a massive package of almost $2 trillion, named as CARES Act (unemployment insurance program), the largest financial package in history.
However, many of the claimants probably exploited unemployment opportunities by falsely claiming to be unemployed, compromising the integrity of systems and diverting resources from those in real need. From April 2020 to May 2023, the estimated level of fraud in unemployment insurance (UI) programs during the COVID-19 pandemic may have reached an amount from $100 billion to $135 billion, as reported by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). This figure accounts for around 11% to 15% of the total unemployment insurance benefits distributed during the pandemic.
The IWD now aims to distinguish who genuinely has the right to access unemployment services and benefits. This might help to reduce fraudulent activities taking place in unemployment systems and preserve the privacy of digital identities.
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