New Portal Helps California’s Unemployed Manage Claims

After registering online, users can certify for benefits, get information on processed payments, view and change scheduled appointments, and more.

by Matt Williams / June 8, 2015
UI Online is available via the desktop or on mobile.Image courtesy of EDD

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) on Thursday unveiled a new Web portal where recipients of unemployment benefits can manage their claims.

The new system, called UI Online, is available 24/7 on desktop and mobile, in English and Spanish. After registering online, users can certify for benefits, get information on processed payments, view and change scheduled appointments, and more.
 
EDD officials said early indications are that the first users of UI Online are pleased with the new system and that certifying benefits through the Web will save at least two or three days of processing time. (Californians must re-certify for unemployment benefits every two weeks.) In many cases, EDD customers won’t have to get in touch with a service representative over the phone anymore.
 
“This does revolutionize how we provide critical unemployment benefits, and that’s to Californians at their time of need,” said Loree Levy, EDD deputy director of public affairs, said during a press briefing on Thursday.
 
EDD officials stressed that UI Online pertains to ongoing, continuing claims -- not first-time applicants.
 
The EDD began to roll out the new system to a small number of customers last month. Beginning this weekend, the department will begin reaching out to all 400,000 Californians who are currently collecting unemployment to notify them of UI Online’s availability. Users will receive a customer account number so they can register in the new system if they so choose.
 
“There have been a few states that have moved to an online system, and some are very different. Ours is primarily for continued claim purposes. Some are looking at having a complete system, but we are one of the few states that have moved to an online system, said Sabrina Reed, deputy director of EDD’s unemployment insurance.
 
EDD expects UI Online will cost about $16 million. Officials said the department decided to allocate additional resources to enhance usability, staff a technical support center, and plan the 10-week phased rollout that’s under way. EDD developed UI Online in partnership with Deloitte.

This story was originally published by TechWire

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