Employment Security launches new system for claims

People who apply for unemployment benefits over the phone will now provide more information using their telephone keypads, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

The automated application system, which launched today, will capture basic information from callers before they are transferred to a live agent, who will complete their unemployment claim. Information ranges from simple demographics and contact information to specific information about the last employer. In all, claimants will answer approximately 25 questions electronically under the new system.

“This may seem like a lot of button-pushing, but overall it should streamline the application process and save callers time,” said Annette Copeland, head of ESD’s unemployment-insurance program. “Rather than waiting on hold to answer the same set of questions to an agent, they can get the ball rolling by answering electronically.

“This also will save us money without affecting our customers,” Copeland added.

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, a worker must lose his job through no fault of his own and must look for work each week. Unemployed workers can apply for benefits online at http://www.go2ui.com or over the phone at (800) 318-6022.

With both filing systems, applicants will need their Social Security number, the names and addresses of all employers for the last two years, as well as the dates of employment and the reason they left each job. They will also need their alien registration number, if not a U.S. citizen.