- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Announces Plans to Modernize the Department of Unemployment Assistance Insurance System
Matthew Kitsos, Director of Communications
BOSTON — The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development today announced the Employment Modernization and Transformation (EMT) project, a multi-phased strategy to modernize the Department of Unemployment Assistance’s (DUA) Unemployment Insurance (UI) system. The first phase of the project will launch on September 12 and provide employers and third-party administrators (TPAs) with improved functionality for managing unemployment services activities online.
“Operational efficiency, inclusivity, and improved user experience have been top-of-mind as we work on transforming our online unemployment insurance system,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Lauren Jones. “With the goal of providing better service to our employer customers, phase one of this project will help eliminate ineffective or unnecessary business processes, streamline UI compliance, simplify communications, and offer both English and Spanish as language choices. We look forward to partnering with all stakeholders to ensure that this initiative is a success.”
“The Employment Modernization and Transformation project will improve the accessibility and user experience for our constituents, a clear priority of any digital initiative of the Healey-Driscoll Administration,” said Secretary of Technology Services and Security Jason Snyder. “I am proud to partner with Secretary Jones and Executive Sponsor Jeffers in delivering on this important first phase of this transformational project that will set the foundation for the customer-centric phase to come for the residents of the Commonwealth.”
The project will deliver a transformational UI experience to the Commonwealth’s employers and residents by:
- Increasing accessibility features: customers will have the option to receive their correspondence in their preferred language.
- Modernizing technology: new process for uploading information, like wage or employment details, improving the system’s usability.
- Enhancing customer experience: mobile-friendly design to make it more convenient to apply for unemployment assistance.
Development of the modernization process began in April 2022 and Fast Enterprises, LLC was selected as the vendor in identifying and implementing software, hardware, and service delivery process improvements. In January 2023, DUA began extensive testing of the EMT system for usability, accessibility, functionality, and technology. Phase two of the modernization, which is claimant focused, is scheduled to rollout in 2025.
“This announcement is a significant step forward to better serve Massachusetts’ businesses and claimants,” said Executive Sponsor of Employment Modernization & Transformation Rick Jeffers. “Over the last year, we have worked collaboratively with employers to test out the new system, and I appreciate their feedback and cooperation along the way.”
Employers and TPAs will need to operate in both the new system and the current UI Online system for approximately 18 months because of benefits-related activities, like claims appeals. To prepare for the transition, the DUA has recommended employers and TPAs confirm their contact information in the current UI Online system is up to date.
Additionally, due to the enhancements to the DUA system, UI Online will be unavailable from Friday, September 8, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET to Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 8 a.m. ET. Claimants will not be able to file claims or certify for weekly benefits during this timeframe. Weekly certifications for the benefit week ending September 9, 2023, will be available starting Tuesday, September 12, 2023. As a result, claimants who would have certified for weekly benefits on Sunday or Monday will see a delay in weekly benefit payment by at least 2 business days. Claimants are encouraged to call Unemployment Customer Assistance at (877) 626-6800 with any questions. More information on the EMT project, including updates on the modernization progress, can be found at www.mass.gov/uimodernization.