Why is NC using 3rd party fraud detector for jobless claims?

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There were more questions Tuesday night about the verification service North Carolina is using to make sure unemployment benefits are not being given out fraudulently.

CBS 17 wanted to know why the state has added another layer to the weekly certification process that people use to keep getting their unemployment benefits.

The state uses a private contactor called ID.Me to verify your identity, but as CBS 17 told you Monday glitches in the system prevented a furloughed flight attendant and more than dozen of his colleagues from getting their benefits.

“The most frustrating part is not being able to get ahold of anyone from ID.me and when you get DES they’re washing their hands of it and won’t have anything to do with this,” said Michael Donnelly who was having trouble getting the state to accept the ID.me verification.

After CBS 17 consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia contacted the president of ID.me, he was able to get their issues resolved and they are now getting benefits again.

There’s no doubt unemployment fraud is huge — costing billions.

ID.me is a federally certified identity provider and specializes in digital identity protection.

CBS 17 learned the company has over 40 million people using their service to verify identities.

The company said it partners with “26 states including North Carolina to combat unemployment fraud.”

When it comes to checking unemployment eligibility, the company says its verified almost 4 million people filing for pandemic unemployment assistance or unemployment insurance.

It claims to have saved states an estimated $32 billion in unemployment fraud. But what happens when their software doesn’t talk to a state’s software?

Donnelly says it was pure frustration trying to get the North Carolina Division of Employment Security to fix the issue.

“They said they couldn’t help,” he said. “It’s a third party and they said they have nothing to do with that.”

Because Sbraccia got another complaint from a viewer Tuesday about verification issues and an inability to contact anyone to get it fixed, he asked state officials about several issues.

How many people are affected by this glitch?

Does DES have any way of telling if an ID.me verifications are getting into their system?

Why did DES add ID.me to its benefits verification process?

DES provided answers to the questions in an emailed statement.

It said the state added ID.me because DES is now required by federal guidelines to verify identities for some claimants.

North Carolina Division of Employment Security spokesman Larry Parker says what happened Monday was a file transfer issue involving a small number of claimants and does not appear to be an ongoing issue.

He also says once you are verified by ID.Me you also have to meet federal or state guidelines for eligibility and insuring those are met could add time to process your claim.

The North Carolina Division of Employment Security has a page on its website which seeks to answer your questions about ID.me

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