BOSTON (WWLP) – The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) will be implementing a multi-phase plan to update the unemployment insurance (UI) system.

The project is expected to improve transactions for employers and residents by:  

  • Increasing accessibility features: customers will have the option to receive their correspondence in their preferred language. 
  • Modernizing technology: new process for uploading information, like wage or employment details, improving the system’s usability.  
  • Enhancing customer experience: mobile-friendly design to make it more convenient to apply for unemployment assistance. 

The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) began testing of the Employment Modernization and Transformation (EMT) system for usability, accessibility, functionality, and technology in January.

“Operational efficiency, inclusivity, and improved user experience have been top-of-mind as we work on transforming our online unemployment insurance system,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Lauren Jones. “With the goal of providing better service to our employer customers, phase one of this project will help eliminate ineffective or unnecessary business processes, streamline UI compliance, simplify communications, and offer both English and Spanish as language choices. We look forward to partnering with all stakeholders to ensure that this initiative is a success.”  

Beginning on September 12th, Phase 1 will begin for employers and third-party administrators (TPA) with improvement to online managing unemployment services. Phase 2, which is claimant-focused, is scheduled to start in 2025.   

Employers and TPAs will need to operate in both the new system and the current UI Online system for approximately 18 months because of benefits-related activities, like claims appeals. To prepare for the transition, the DUA has recommended employers and TPAs confirm their contact information in the current UI Online system is up to date.  

Additionally, due to the enhancements to the DUA system, UI Online will be unavailable from Friday, September 8th at 5 p.m. to Tuesday, September 12th, at 8 a.m. Claimants will not be able to file claims or certify for weekly benefits during this timeframe. Weekly certifications for the benefit week ending September 9, 2023, will be available starting Tuesday, September 12, 2023. Claimants who would have certified for weekly benefits on Sunday or Monday will see a delay in weekly benefit payment by at least 2 business days. Claimants are encouraged to call Unemployment Customer Assistance at (877) 626-6800 with any questions.

More information on the EMT project, including updates on the modernization progress, can be found at this website.

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