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"Pandemic Unemployment and the Social Safety Net" funded by New America:
"Barriers and pain points of applying and getting assistance" by Lindsey Wagner & Dana Chisnell
"Time spent applying and waiting for benefits" by Gina Kim, Lindsey Wagner, Rebecca Michelson, Grace Cho, & Dana Chisnell
"The Unemployment Pandemic: Addressing America's Job Crisis" by Michele Evermore
"Unpacking Inequities in Unemployment Insurance" from New America, by Monée Fields-White, Vivian Graubard, Alberto Rodríguez, Nikki Zeichner, & Cassandra Robertson
2020-10-05 The Century Foundation, National Employment Law Project, and Philadelphia Legal Assistance: Centering Workers: How to Modernize Unemployment Insurance Technology.
This report provides an analysis of states' pre-COVID efforts to modernize their UI systems in order to make recommendations on how to continue this effort with more success moving forward.
The recommendations they make are even more important to consider as COVID-era volumes underscore the existing limitations of UI systems; the recs are broken down based on stages: Planning, Designing, and Implementing.
Within the "The Role of Unemployment Insurance" section, they do the important work of sharing some of the ways in which systemic racism impacts both UI systems and the underlying unemployment that make the systems so critical. This is a fundamental piece of their argument for the inclusion of the affected populations in making major changes to the UI systems.
From Disrepair to Transformation: How to Revive UI IT and Infrastructure, Congressional Testimony from Rebecca Nixon, Executive Director, NELP
From National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO): Chat with Us: How States are Using Chatbots to Respond to the Demands of COVID-19. This report isn't exclusively about unemployment insurance, but it includes information about UI chatbots.
2020-11-30 -- Government Accountability Office: GAO-21-191: Covid-19: Urgent Actions Needed to Better Ensure an Effective Federal Response. There were 4 key take-aways for UI in this report:
The Federal Department of Labor had been reporting the number of weeks of UI benefits claimed as the number of individuals claiming benefits. Given backlogs and multi-week certification processes, this has the effect of inflating how many people appear to be on unemployment.
UI Benefits are funded by taxes levied by states on businesses; these funds are completely used up in many cases. “As of November 9, 2020, 21 states and territories held about $40.2 billion in federal loans to pay UI benefits.” It will take years after this recession to re-establish the funds and pay back these loans.
Most states have been paying the minimum allowable benefit for PUA rather than calculating what folks are truly eligible for. The DOL doesn't know how many states are tracking, recalculating, and disbursing these payments, though California appeared to be doing so as of October 30, 2020
There are a lot of on-going fraud investigations. 14 investigations by DOL itself, nearly 150 by the US Secret Service, and unknown numbers through money given by the federal DOL to states.
2020-09-16 -- California Employment Development Department Strike Team: Detailed Assessment and Recommendations
This 100+ page report with appendices details the innovations and limitations within CA's EDD
Its primary recommendations were:
Measure and monitor every step of the claims process daily
Deploy a NIST IAL2-compliant identity proofing solution within the application process
For a period of time, delay new claims filed and redirect highest skilled staff to focus on processing claims
Complete deployment of mobile-friendly document upload solution
2021-01-28 -- Nevada DETR Rapid Response Strike Force Report