Maine automates tasks on unemployment benefits system

Maine is revamping the state's unemployment insurance benefits system, adopting a cloud-based application to automate time-consuming and error-prone tasks. 

Maine officials have deployed technology from Pegasystems to help cut the time it takes to resolve blocked unemployment claims and help ensure compliance with the state’s benefits regulations. Pega combines business process management, customer relationship management and case management technology in a single platform.

Maine's Bureau of Unemployment Compensation has several applications in various stages of maturity, according to Doug Averill, the state's director of business process management. For instance, sometimes people apply for unemployment via a call center or online, and though they might have given correct information about their employment history, it might not make it into the right database. As a result, a claim is blocked. 

In the past, the unemployment staff would have to pull all of the claimant's paperwork, scan it and send it via email to state investigators, which could take a month, Averill said. The Pega technology integrates all of the different data sources and automatically processes the information into a single, electronic case, significantly cutting the time it takes to respond to a blocked claim. 

Since Pega is deployed in a secure cloud platform, the unemployment staff can also move applications and data to and from the cloud while maintaining security, privacy, regulatory and compliance requirements. 

Although Maine employment officials used Pega to address a specific, immediate problem, the state is also working with Rhode Island and Mississippi on a common unemployment insurance benefit system, Averill noted. 

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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