PHOENIX — A new system meant to stop fraud has been blamed for many delays with unemployment benefits here in Arizona. The company - ID.me - says they are doing their job.
So - who is responsible for claims that are stuck in limbo?
Kristy applied for UI benefits back in March of 2020.
"I was a medical marketer in Prescott, really well paid actually, up until March, you know, when everyone got laid off," said Kristy.
Since then, she says things have been tough. Moving out of state just to afford rent, especially when her UI payments stopped, and no one would help.
Kristy says she got several excuses including her account was hacked; they didn't have her address and her move out of state triggered an alert.
DES says ID.me was hired to stop ID fraud and make it easier for qualified people to get money quickly. Kristy and many others say that didn't happen, and they blame ID.me.
We even sent them a list of 19 people who said they were having issues despite going through the ID.me process.
Out of those 19, 15 had in fact been verified weeks - even months - before they told us there was an issue.
" If we can't help them, we'll make sure that they get escalated to DDS in a way that they can actually get verified and go through," said Blake Hall, CEO, and Co-founder of ID.me.
So, we went back to DES. If everyone is verified with ID.me, what is the problem?
DES said "identity verification is simply one of several eligibility requirements... DES must determine whether every claimant meets these requirements...The time it takes for a claim to be adjudicated depends upon the complexity of the issues."
In the meantime, they say keep filing your weekly claims.
As for Kristy, she took matters into her own hands, contacting her former State Senator, then the Ombudsman at the governor's office.
She says eventually it paid off. After we spoke she says she actually got a call from a DES adjudicator and her unemployment money was on its way.
ID.me has said they will try to help anyone who has gone through their system, was qualified, and still has issues.
To contact the Ombudsman's Office, click here.