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Future-Proof Your Unemployment Insurance Program

5 key strategies to prepare for the next recession.

By Mark Mayfield, Sr. Software Implementation Manager, Catalis Regulatory & Compliance

What have we learned from the past few years?

The pandemic was a real eye-opener for many of us. We all thought that the “Great Recession” had put our systems to the test in terms of maximum throughput. That seems to have been wrong. Since 2000, we have learned new definitions of stress relative to systems and people. And we all realize it’s not a question of “if” but “when” we will find ourselves in that position. So, what did we learn that can be applied before the next recession the Unemployment Insurance (UI) domain has to face? Here’s a quick checklist:

Scalable Systems

We simply must have systems that can easily adjust to changing claim volume. Scalability refers to the ability of a computer system to perform well under an increased or expanding workload. If your system is not able to move from 100 claims per week to 100,000 claims per week, without anything more than an incremental increase in resource consumption, you’re not ready.

Automated and Intelligent Document Processing

Part of every scalable system is the speed and accuracy at which documents can be ingested and processed into the system – whether they be snail mail, email, PDF documents, or hand-written notes. If you do not have an automated way to consume these, categorize them, extract data from them, and then route them to the appropriate person, shared folder, workflow and case management system, or robotic process automation (RPA), you’re not ready.

Layered Fraud Detection

One of the things that we learned during the pandemic was that no single solution is a silver bullet for fraud prevention and detection. You must utilize a layered approach. If your system doesn’t include identity proofing, identity verification, claim risk-scoring, and multi-factor authentication (MFA), you’re not ready.

IVR Fraud Layer

If you’re utilizing a contact center for claims assistance and/or intake, you need to do everything you can to reduce call times. That seems to be stating the obvious, but have you considered nonconventional ways to eliminate time spent verifying identity on your IVR system? Like using a biometric “voice print” that could bypass the manual ID validation performed by the agent? Of course, as with all fraud prevention tools, you must provide an “off-ramp” (opt-out) for accessibility reasons. If you haven’t reduced call times significantly and replaced manual processes with automated ones, you’re not ready.

Automation Everywhere

Between commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products that are available and customized RPA solutions, everything that does not require merit staff decision-making can and should be automated. In particular, we need to pay the most attention to those workflows in adjudication and investigation that tend to impact time the most. Believe it or not, there are COTS products out there that solve each of these problems. If you haven’t automated failure-to-respond notices, adjudication assignments, workflow processes, self-service opportunities, and fact-finding, you’re not ready.

By taking the necessary steps now, agencies can ensure they are equipped to handle increased claim volume, maintain efficiency, and mitigate fraud risk during challenging economic times. Have questions about your agency’s recession readiness? Catalis has answers. Visit Catalis Unemployment Insurance Solutions for more information.

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