BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) announced it has implemented new security measures to speed up identity verification and protect claimant accounts. These measures also address the continued surge of fraudulent claim attempts.
The Department has contracted with the security vendor ID.me, a federally certified identity-verification provider that specializes in digital identity protection. ID.me will implement solutions designed to reduce wait times on identity verification issues for unemployment claimants.
This new mobile-friendly method of identity verification will help protect the integrity of the system and allow DUA to make payments more quickly to legitimate claimants. ID.me is being implemented for the traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. The identity verification process for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides financial assistance to groups like the self-employed, is not undergoing any changes at this time.
The initial group of claimants who will benefit from the introduction of ID.me are those who are currently waiting for identity-verification issues to be adjudicated. ID.me will be added for new claimants in the coming weeks.
For all claimants clearing the ID.me process, a notice of approval will be issued from UI Online, and, if otherwise eligible, payments to the claimant will commence within several days.
DUA is also implementing additional multi-factor authentication (MFA) measures within the UI Online system to help reduce the risk of fraud and cybersecurity attacks. MFA is an authentication method that requires the user to provide an additional form of verification to gain access to a system. Generally, this is a code sent to the claimant’s cell phone or e-mail that the claimant must then enter to access UI Online. MFA is one aspect of a strong identity and access-management policy that strengthens access to these critical systems and reduces the likelihood of cybersecurity attacks.