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Transforming Legacy Unemployment Insurance Systems: Empowering Claimants With Enhanced User Experience

Given the importance of UI benefits, the claimant experience is critical. However, filing a UI claim can be a frustrating experience, requiring claimants to make several attempts without a guarantee of success. According to an analysis, only 27% of unemployed citizens got benefits after the Covid-19 pandemic compared to 41% who got them after the 2009 recession.

Digital transformation of legacy UI systems is not only the need of the hour but also critical to the success of the benefits program. This blog explains the challenges of legacy UI systems and how modern technologies can transform the claims process and claimant experience.

Legacy Unemployment Insurance Systems

The UI claims systems in at least twelve US states run on COBOL, a programming language that is over 60 years old. These systems were unable to bear the load of claims during the Covid-19 pandemic. While some states have outsourced their COBOL system maintenance to IT vendors, others rely on staff programmers; both have their shortcomings.

According to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), legacy systems such as these are expensive to maintain, vulnerable to cyberattacks, and can easily break down during periods of high claim volume. The hidden cost of legacy software maintenance is over $337 million per year in taxpayer money.

Legacy does not necessarily mean old; it could be a new software running on old hardware that does little to reap its full potential. It could also be a modern system that fails to meet the critical goals which, in this case, are seamless UI claims administration and a great claimant experience.

Best Practices for Upgrading Legacy Unemployment Insurance Systems

With a full new modernized UI system (Tax, Benefits, Appeals, Workforce, and Call Center) comes an intuitive and fast user-friendly interface. This reduces the time claimants and employers spend completing and submitting required forms, enhancing their experience.

However, every legacy system is unique and there is no single and universal modernization plan. The modernization strategy depends on the end goal which is an exceptional customer experience. Six best practices can help guide the modernization initiative for labor agencies. Read more about these best practices.
Infosys Public Services, a U.S. based subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY), is a leader in business consulting, technology solutions, and next-generation digital services. We enable public sector organizations in the US and Canada to navigate their digital transformation.