NJDOL launches ID verification tool in effort to help reduce fraud, expedite benefits

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced Friday it is launching an enhanced identity verification tool to expedite processing for legitimate Unemployment Insurance claims and further reduce fraudulent ones.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of legitimate unemployment claimants across the country have experienced benefit delays or been left out of receiving benefits through no fault of their own because someone had stolen their identity and attempted to file a false claim on their behalf, DOL officials said.

You can report a fraudulent claim here.

NJDOL has contracted with security vendor ID.me to provide multifactor identity verification services that will assist the department in authenticating claimants’ identity in a more efficient manner. The service enables claimants to verify their identity online using an efficient, self-service application.

“Our No. 1 priority is, and always has been, getting claimants the benefits they deserve as quickly as possible, and ID.me is yet another valuable improvement we’ve made to make this process faster and easier,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said. “Contracting with this nationally recognized service allows our agents to focus more time on processing complex claims, so it’s a win for all our claimants, even those not affected by fraud.”

If needed, unemployment claimants will be contacted by NJDOL and instructed to verify their identity through ID.me. A claimant should not submit identifying information to ID.me unless requested to do so by the NJDOL.

The process can be completed in a few minutes using a computer or mobile phone and common pieces of documentation. Users also have the option of completing the process via a live video conference session. The ID.me service is available in several languages, allowing claimants to request a referee in the language of their choice.

NJDOL has remained vigilant throughout the pandemic to catch and halt fraudulent claims activity, protecting workers and employers. Since the start of the pandemic, NJDOL has identified 260,000 fraudulent claims and prevented more than $2 billion in erroneous payments.

New Jersey joins several other states in using ID.me, which is a credentialed federal service provider adhering to National Institute of Standards and Technology 800-63-3, Digital Identity Guidelines.

To date, the NJDOL has given out more than $25 billion in benefits.