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KDOL website security upgrade over weekend will cause some payment delays

Kansas Department of Labor
Kansas Department of Labor(WIBW)
Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 8:28 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update: Wednesday afternoon: The Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) will take its servers offline this weekend in an effort to combat fraudulent claims. Gov. Laura Kelly said Wednesday the system will go down Saturday (Jan. 30) and should be up and running by Tuesday morning (Feb. 2).

KDOL is working in partnership with LexisNexis to upgrade the identity verification software for unemployment insurance accounts and claims. The two-factor authentication will give claimants a more secure log-in and access to their account. It is similar to what has been implemented in other states.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the Kansas Department of Labor has been fighting two battles – processing a record number of unemployment claims with a 40-year old IT systems and a record number of fraud,” said Gov. Kelly. “These upgrades will identify and stop the flood of fraudulent claims Kansas and states across the country have been fighting against, so the team at the Department of Labor will have more time to help unemployed Kansans.”

Gov. Kelly said KDOL is working to pay out all claims for Thursday and Friday. The agency said it will hold payment of Regular Unemployment benefits until the new system is operational on February 2, 2021. Claimants will get any back pay owed. Benefit payments to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program will not be impacted by the upgrade, but claimants will have to verify their identity within the new system when it becomes operational.

Once the new identification verification system is brought back online, every claimant will be required to verify his or her identity by answering questions specific to the person’s credit history. Once an identity is verified, the system will prompt the claimant to set up two-factor authentication for her or his benefit account moving forward. This additional layer of security is an important factor in protecting KDOL unemployment.

The anti-fraud solution will be delivered by adaptive multi-factor authentication vendor Okta. KDOL is working with its existing partner, Accenture, on the systems integration. KDOL said the partnership with LexisNexis will also enable the agency to make payments more quickly to legitimate claimants while simultaneously helping KDOL fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities.

KDOL continues to “aggressively monitor” claims for fraudulent activity and is actively working with federal law enforcement officials to bring criminals to account. Since March 15, 2020, KDOL has paid out over 3.9 million weekly claims totaling over $2.6 billion between regular unemployment and the federal pandemic programs. For more information, or to apply for unemployment benefits, go to www.GetKansasBenefits.gov.

Wednesday morning:

Benefit payments from the Kansas Department of Labor may be delayed due to website maintenance, according to a post made on Facebook Wednesday morning. That post has since been removed.

The GetKansasBenefits.gov and PUA.GetKansasBenefits.gov website will be down between 9:15 p.m. Thursday and 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to the post. Eyewitness News has reached out to the KDOL to find out if that means there will be a delay in payouts.

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