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Wisconsin turns to cloud to streamline unemployment processing

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has called on Google Cloud to help it streamline unemployment insurance (UI) claims processing.

The partnership with Google Cloud will give DWD expedited review of UI and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims to help it make claim payment determinations. Predictive analytics will shorten decision-making, allowing the state to release payments to eligible claimants faster. Google Cloud's service also provides data analytics that enable segmentation, categorization and clustering based on claim attributes.

Since March 15, DWD has processed 7.4 million weekly claims, paying out over $3.9 billion in UI benefits to more than 536,000 claimants. Still, some claims remain unpaid.

Nearly 81,000 people are waiting for claims to be either approved or denied, according to department data. Of those waiting, a person who first filed in March is still awaiting adjudication, and 372 other are waiting on claims filed in April, a department spokesperson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"While the Department has completed an unprecedented number of claims over the past six months, we recognize that the 8 percent of claims still in process represents individuals who are depending on us," DWD Transition Director Amy Pechacek said. "This new partnership helps us ensure a more efficient resolution of their claims so that they may care for themselves and their families."

As part of this collaboration, Google Cloud will also deliver a fraud detection and identification service that scans and flags potentially fraudulent claims based on key indicators, allowing DWD to more strategically work through eligible claims.

In mid-November, the state plans to use Google Cloud to contact claimants and employers online, rather than over the phone, allow documents to be submitted online instead of by fax and streamline data extraction and integration from submitted documentation.

New York recently partnered with Google Cloud on a redesigned unemployment insurance application that integrated the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance process.

The Department of Energy and the state of West Virginia have both signed on with Google Cloud. DOE will take advantage of its Google Cloud Platform for its scientific research, and West Virginia is giving full access to enterprise-level Google Workspace capabilities for all 22,000 state employees and accessing Google’s data loss prevention and access control services.

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