Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary
Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 17, 2016
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce
DWD Receives Federal Grant to Further Strengthen Unemployment Insurance Program Integrity
Unemployment Insurance program receives $500,000 from USDOL, the maximum allowed
MADISON – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) has awarded $500,000 in grant funds to DWD to fund program integrity related activities in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. This is the fourth year in a row that program integrity-related proposals submitted by Wisconsin's DWD have received the full amount of grant funding requested.
"Under Governor Walker's leadership, Wisconsin's UI program has been at the forefront of innovation," Secretary Allen said. "This most recent grant award from the USDOL demonstrates our commitment to providing modern, easy-to-access services to those we serve while ensuring operational excellence and protecting the long-term integrity of the UI program."
DWD received $500,000 to fund five separate projects, including:
- Computer Based Data Analytics for Targeted Work Search Audits – Building on our proven manual data analytics strategy that detects inadequate or unlawful work search actions, DWD will implement a high-tech solution that will assign a probability score to each work search log to allow staff to direct audits at work search logs with the highest probability of inaccurate or unlawful work search actions. This is consistent with the federal government's directive that to be eligible claimants must actively search for work and be able and available to accept full-time work. Additionally, this initiative will help DWD direct educational efforts at claimants who are submitting inaccurate or unlawful work search actions and reduce improper payments.
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Cross-Program Data Integration – Currently, numerous federal WIOA participants house data in separate data warehouses. This initiative will promote greater access to common data for the purposes of administering programs and enable service providers and program administrators to more efficiently administer required programs. Cross-program data integration will provide services to UI and Division of Employment and Training customers more efficiently by reducing the time to apply for services and improve employment outcomes while avoiding duplication of services. When fully implemented, this initiative is expected to save Wisconsin at least $4.5 million annually.
- Spanish Translation of UI Internet Weekly Claim Application – DWD has been enhancing online applications and more customers are utilizing online services. An additional phase being funded by this grant award is translating the current internet weekly claim application to Spanish. The framework that will be developed could be used for additional languages in the future, lowering future costs.
Since Governor Walker took office, Wisconsin's UI program has undergone continuous change, transforming the program's customer service abilities and helping to ensure that benefits are paid timely and accurately to individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. Wisconsin's UI Trust Fund balance, which is used solely to pay benefits to eligible workers and is funded by Wisconsin employers covered by the UI program, went from a negative balance of $1.3 billion in December 2010 to a positive balance of $1.2 billion at the end of October 2016. Due to this success, Wisconsin employers are experiencing an approximate $135 million in savings over the 2016 and 2017 tax years.
More information on the UI system is available online.