95% of Missouri’s Unemployed Workers Now File Payment Requests Online; State Saves over $60,000 While Providing Better Service

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) To improve the performance and the integrity of the unemployment insurance (UI) program while reducing operating costs, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Division of Employment Security (DES) recently removed the option to file initial unemployment claims and weekly requests for payment via its Interactive Voice Response (IVR) phone system, which resulted in the DES realizing an initial savings of over $60,000 per year in software licensing.

“Uinteract, our online unemployment system, gives employers and unemployed workers access to their account 24/7, not just when a customer service representative is available to take a call,” stated DES Director Chris Slinkard.  “It also allows the DES to capture more accurate information, which helps prevent fraud and better allocate staff to more critical tasks that ensure timely and proper payment of unemployment claims.”

More citizens taking advantage of UInteract translates into higher quality determinations and more timely payment of benefits.  Now approximately 95% of claimants are currently filing weekly requests for payment online through UInteract, up from 40% prior to the transition from the IVR system.  Whether they are using a smartphone, tablet, Mac, or PC, UInteract offers unemployed workers features to help navigate the UI program and properly file a claim as well as an interface with the MoJobs job search database providing real-time job information specific to each individual.

To assist citizens in need, customer service representatives continue to remain available by phone from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.  In-person assistance is also available at Missouri Job Centers throughout the state, where they can access other career services.