CHEYENNE - Workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own will soon have a more user-friendly portal through which they can file for unemployment insurance. The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services' redesigned and upgraded Unemployment Insurance Claims System opens to the public on Wednesday, June 27.
The upgrade, called WYUI, was built by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and it is housed in the Microsoft Azure Cloud. With an aggressive 20-month timeline, the project is coming in on time and on budget. The $30 million project was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
All information from the legacy system's mainframe computer is being uploaded to the cloud-based system, which has more security and backup capabilities than the mainframe computer was able to offer.
"TCS developed a similar system with other states, and their experience and expertise have been critical to the success of Wyoming's modernization project," said Wendy Tyson, WYUI program manager. "Missouri provided the base code, which was adapted to meet Wyoming's needs."
Damion Strommer, WYUI project manager, said the cloud-based system is the right combination of flexibility and security for the Unemployment Insurance system.
"The cloud is secure, stable, scalable and adaptable, giving Wyoming efficient cost-effective opportunities to leverage technological advances," Strommer said.
The Wednesday opening is the culmination of Phase 1 of the implementation of WYUI. It will allow unemployed workers to file claims online, view unemployment insurance documentation and correspondence, respond to requests from unemployment insurance, update contact information, update preferred payment methods, file for payment, reset their personal identification numbers and pay on overpayments. They also can file continued claims for weekly payments, track benefit payments, change individual information, respond to requests for information, file appeals, reprint their 1099G forms, and generate UI Benefit Verification letters. The system also allows UI staff to assist claimants with views of their entries, improve response times, reduce manual operations and reduce the risk of entering erroneous information.
Phase 2, which will develop the WYUI tax system for employers, is on schedule to be completed in 2019.
As the department switches from the legacy system to WYUI, the Unemployment Insurance Claims System is unavailable from Thursday, June 21, through Tuesday, June 26. No claims will be able to be processed during that time. When the new system is up and running Wednesday, though, Tobi Cates, administrator of office workforce programs for DWS, said it will be a vast improvement over the previous system.
"WYUI provides the Department of Workforce Services with a single, integrated application and database that allows for faster and more efficient processing of unemployment insurance claims," she said.