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Tony Evers, Governor

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 19, 2020
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Transition Director Pechacek Announces Collaboration with Google Cloud

Google Cloud will provide expedited review of unemployment claims to shorten adjudication decision-making time

MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today announced a new partnership with Google Cloud to assist in Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims processing. Beginning Monday, October 19, this collaboration will offer the Department innovative tools to address its UI caseload.

DWD's partnership with Google Cloud will provide expedited review of UI and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims to assist in processing claim payment determinations. Google Cloud's service uses predictive analytics based on historical data to shorten adjudication decision-making, which will allow DWD to release payments to eligible claimants faster. Additional key features of Google Cloud's service include descriptive data analytics through segmentation, categorization, and clustering based on claim attributes.

"Our top priority is ensuring that all eligible unemployment claims in Wisconsin are paid as quickly as possible," DWD Transition Director Amy Pechacek said. "With that focus in mind, I look forward to this exciting collaboration with Google Cloud to further improve our UI processes to better serve Wisconsinites who are out of work through no fault of their own."

As of Friday, DWD has processed 7.4 million weekly claims since March 15, 2020, paying more than 536,000 claimants over $3.9 billion in UI benefits.

"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," 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 rules-based analytics engine that will assist DWD in identifying unemployment claims that have the risk of improper payment. This fraud detection and identification service scans and identifies potentially fraudulent claims based on key indicators, allowing DWD to more strategically work through eligible claims.

In phase two of this project, set to launch in mid-November, Google Cloud’s automated technology will help the Department contact claimants and employers electronically, significantly reducing the need for scheduled phone calls. This service will also allow documents to be submitted online instead of by fax and will streamline data extraction and integration from submitted documentation to provide further efficiencies in the claim processing workflow.

"COVID-19 has created an unprecedented challenge for states as they work through massive volumes of unemployment applications," said Mike Daniels, vice president, Global Public Sector, Google Cloud. "Google Cloud helps states like Wisconsin to automate routine engagement, provide intuitive online applications and leverage our artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help address the mounting volume of claims. By partnering with WI DWD, we will help address backlogs and quickly pay claims, providing relief to people in greatest financial need."

For more information on Wisconsin's UI program, please visit https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/ui/.