Ohio to Allow Unemployment Claims Online

 
 
By eweek  |  Posted 2004-08-05 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Out-of-work Ohioans in a few weeks will skip the unemployment line for online, as the state replaces a more than 20-year-old system with the new Internet-based method for making claims, tracking payments and filing appeals.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)— Out-of-work Ohioans in a few weeks will skip the unemployment line for online, as the state replaces a more than 20-year-old system with the new Internet-based method for making claims, tracking payments and filing appeals. People still will have the option of filing claims by telephone, the method nearly all applicants use now, since the last in-person unemployment offices closed in June after being phased out over two years, said Dennis Evans, spokesman for the Department of Job and Family Services. Research in 36 other states that introduced the computer system for Ohio Job Insurance found that about three-fifths of claimants eventually use the online system, assistant director Melissa DeLisio said.
The agency scheduled the switch to the $43 million system for Aug. 17 because this month typically is the slowest time of year for new claims.
The new system also will combine weekly and monthly unemployment insurance statements into one document and allow paperless management of unemployment insurance accounts and responses to workers claims for the states 230,000 employers, she said. About 530,000 people filed new unemployment claims last year, and the state paid $1.4 billion in benefits. Tom Hayes, who will retire as director in October, said Wednesday that in his three-year tenure the department has replaced or is starting work on replacing six of the seven major computer systems running agency programs.
The department is avoiding the pitfalls of its self-made child support database that led to $17 million in fines to the federal government from 1997 to 1999. The Support Enforcement Tracking System incorrectly withheld payments from former welfare recipients, and the state ultimately paid about $15 million in overdue payments to 67,444 parents. It was declared in compliance this February. The problem was that the state tried with that system to combine individual county programs, then just kept working on the software itself, Hayes said. Now the agency looks for existing computer systems that already are working in other states and are in the public domain so theyre low cost, he said. People still will have the option of filing claims by telephone, the method nearly all applicants use now, since the last in-person unemployment offices closed in June after being phased out over two years, said Dennis Evans, spokesman for the Department of Job and Family Services. Research in 36 other states that introduced the computer system for Ohio Job Insurance found that about three-fifths of claimants eventually use the online system, assistant director Melissa DeLisio said. The agency scheduled the switch to the $43 million system for Aug. 17 because this month typically is the slowest time of year for new claims. The new system also will combine weekly and monthly unemployment insurance statements into one document and allow paperless management of unemployment insurance accounts and responses to workers claims for the states 230,000 employers, she said. About 530,000 people filed new unemployment claims last year, and the state paid $1.4 billion in benefits. Tom Hayes, who will retire as director in October, said Wednesday that in his three-year tenure the department has replaced or is starting work on replacing six of the seven major computer systems running agency programs. The department is avoiding the pitfalls of its self-made child support database that led to $17 million in fines to the federal government from 1997 to 1999. The Support Enforcement Tracking System incorrectly withheld payments from former welfare recipients, and the state ultimately paid about $15 million in overdue payments to 67,444 parents. It was declared in compliance this February. The problem was that the state tried with that system to combine individual county programs, then just kept working on the software itself, Hayes said. Now the agency looks for existing computer systems that already are working in other states and are in the public domain so theyre low cost, he said.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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