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Connecticut replaced its legacy unemployment insurance system with cloud-based platform that consolidates five unemployment systems, provides a single sign-on for claimants, cuts down on manual processing and provides better data about unemployment.
Connecticut recently launched a cloud-based replacement for its 40-year-old unemployment insurance system. The new $60 million unemployment benefits and tax system, ReEmployCT, will serve the state’s unemployed workers who are eligible for benefits and the approximately 115,000 businesses that pay into the Unemployment Trust Fund.
ReEmployCT features a number of improvements over the legacy system. The cloud-based platform consolidates five unemployment systems, provides a single sign-on for claimants and greatly reduces the need for claimants and employers to mail or fax documents because they can now file online. The system also cuts down on manual processing and provides better data about unemployment, officials said in a press statement.
Modernization of the mainframe UI system began in 2016, Labor Department Commissioner Dante Barolomeo said at a press briefing. When thousands of people lost their jobs in the spring of 2020, the UI system, which normally handled 40,000 claims, struggled to process 400,000 in a single week. When the federal pandemic unemployment compensation was added to unemployment checks, all the tables had to be expanded because mainframe was unable to issue payouts beyond three figures ($999), she said.
Connecticut’s Labor Department (CTDOL) launched the new system over the July 4 weekend, giving the agency another day to test the processes. Additionally, July is traditionally a low-use month for filers and it is the beginning of the quarter for businesses, officials said.
“Connecticut is an unemployment leader with ReEmployCT,” Bartolomeo said. “We are one of the first states in the nation to adhere to the U.S. Department of Labor standards with ReEmployCT, and we worked closely with our national partners at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies to create robust training programs and technology support to ensure the best delivery of unemployment benefits,” she said.
“The lessons from the pandemic are with us – unemployment benefits are part of the social safety net, a bridge between jobs, and vital for residents to understand and access. The CTDOL team recognizes how critical these services are to individuals and the statewide economy. Despite the pandemic, they never stopped working to roll out this new program.”
Connecticut has approximately 20,000 weekly unemployment filers. In the first day the new site was live, 19,900 filers established new accounts in the ReEmployCT system and 7,500 have already filed their weekly certification, officials said.
The state worked with Tata Consultancy Services, which has partnered with states across the U.S. to modernize UI systems in Maine, Mississippi, Missouri and Wyoming, migrating them from on-prem systems to a multi-tenant government cloud certified by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. Transformations are also underway in New York and Kansas.
“ReEmployCT is a significant step forward in Connecticut’s ability to provide modern services to its residents,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “We must make government easier to navigate – it impacts every aspect of life and our economy. This new system is an important part of streamlining and modernizing government for everyone.”
Editor's note: This story was changed July 12 to update the states TCS has worked with. Rhode Island was not one of those states.