It started with fraud. Thousands of fake unemployment claims filed here in Arizona, slowing down real people from getting their payments. Since then, the Let Joe Know Team has been working to find out what really is the problem.
Well, now we're learning a step in the new ID verification process could be one thing causing a hold-up with your claim.
The state spent more than a million dollars hiring the company ID.me to verify people making unemployment claims.
They say it is cutting down on fraud and speeding up the process; however, the state won't say just how much has been saved and every day people complain to us even after going through the ID.me process.
Helen says she was verified back in February, but still hasn't gotten any money and is owed 12 weeks of back pay.
Shane says he went through the ID.me process three times making sure he did it correctly but still didn't get answers on when he'll get unemployment payments.
We're told ID.me is just part of the process.
Adjudicators and more research may still be needed before a claim is approved -- a reason given for delays from the start.
However, when asking questions, we were told something else. When you use the ID.me system you must allow your information to be shared from ID.me to the state.
We asked if this could be a cause for some delays.
DES says, "before the verification process is complete, the claimant must click the button to "Allow" ID.me to notify AZ DES that they have successfully verified their identity, as they are instructed."
ID.me says they put this step in place to make sure consumers are "in control of their data." SEE THE FULL STATEMENTS BELOW.
To check if you clicked "Allow":
- Log on to your ID.me account.
- Click "Sign In & Security".
- Then on the left-hand side - click "Privacy".
- You should see "Websites Granted Access to Your Information" along with the Arizona Department of Economic Security listed below it.
If you don't see AZDES listed - ID.me says to use the link DES sent you to start the ID.me process, log in with your ID.me credentials, and then finish the last step by authorizing ID.me to send your information to DES.
We don't know if this is a big problem. We've asked the state and ID.me but can't get an answer.
It's just one step that may get some of you closer to what you've struggled to get for months.
For a step-by-step guide to the ID.me Process, click here.
Arizona claimants are provided with a unique URL to verify their identity using ID.me. Before the verification process is complete, the claimant must click the button to “Allow” ID.me to notify AZ DES that they have successfully verified their identity, as they are instructed. Claimants can log into ID.me to see which websites they have granted access to their information.
Identity verification is not the only requirement to receive benefits. There are many other eligibility requirements that must be adjudicated before a claimant is determined eligible for benefits.
ID.me is built on the mission to put consumers back in control of their data, making privacy and security a core of our business model. In order to protect consumer privacy, ID.me requires all users to give their specific consent to share their information with the workforce agency or any organization. Additionally, we never sell personal data to third parties or advertisers. And for ultimate convenience, once a user is verified, they’ll never have to verify again. Their ID.me login is portable, so they can share their identity and data as they choose.
If someone forgets to complete this step, they can log into their ID.me account using their email, the password they created, and complete multi-factor authentication. In their account, individuals can see if they have explicitly authorized an organization, like a state workforce agency, to view their personal identification information and what information has been shared.
The claimants can try clicking on the original link DES sent them via email to verify their identity, logging in with ID.me credentials, and then finishing the last step by authorizing ID.me to send your information to DES.