Labor Department Wins
Innovation Award for Internet
For immediate release
August 28, 2007
Connecticut Department of Labor has earned a Silver Innovation prize for a
system that allows customers to file for unemployment benefits via the Internet.
The distinction, from the Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership,
Inc., is awarded to organizations that excel in managing quality improvement for
business success and growth.
claims filing system has revolutionized the way our agency handles a large part
of its business and has significantly increased the efficiency of the state’s
unemployment benefits system,” said State Labor Commissioner Patricia H.
With a total of
50,000 citizens in Connecticut filing a claim for unemployment benefits weekly,
the agency looked for innovative solutions to ensure an even more efficient
system for filing claims, serving customers, and freeing up staff to help people
find new jobs,” Mayfield noted.
telephone voice response system provided an efficient means for citizens to file
weekly claims for benefits,” Mayfield said, “at certain times of the year the
number of claims will increase as a result of weather-related construction
shutdowns, school vacations or post-holiday slowdowns in the retail industry. In
the past, when the volume of claims rose, customers experienced busy signals or
long wait times in order to access the menu of services.”
The answer was a
browser-based, Internet claims system, designed with simple text instructions,
pop-up windows, and easily navigable screens, or pages, with options for
inputting data. The system also features multiple levels of security to protect
customer data, and it is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as
well as the State of Connecticut Universal Web Site Accessibility Policy.
“Thanks to our new
electronic filing system called ‘WebBenefits,’ approximately 30 percent of all
weekly claims are now being filed via the Internet,” Mayfield points out.
“Telephone traffic to our voice response system has been reduced, and as a
result, the number of busy signals have diminished.”
Mayfield, wait times to access the agency’s telephone menu of services has been
reduced by 25 percent and Internet filers often can complete a claim filing
transaction in less than one minute. In contrast, the average telephone call to
file a claim takes an average of six minutes.
Department of Labor is committed to providing swift and efficient access to our
wide array of workforce services to address the needs of the unemployed,”
Mayfield noted. “The WebBenefits filing system allows our agency to take the
mission one step further.
successful telephone voice response system virtually eliminated the long lines
of customers waiting to file their claims in person at ‘the unemployment
office’, we recognized that the Web’s place in the arena of modern service
delivery methods could further enhance our efficiency and the service we provide
to the public. We can now dedicate more time helping customers with their
‘employment’ needs rather than their ‘unemployment’ needs.”
This is the sixth
Connecticut Quality Improvement Award that has been awarded to the Labor
Department for innovations in the workplace.
Quality Improvement Award Partnership is a not-for profit organization that
annually recognizes organizations for bringing quality improvement to the
workplace. Founded in 1987, the organization is comprised of a group of business
leaders, educators, health care executives and government officials concerned
with improving the economic vitality of Connecticut.
Innovation Prize will be presented to the Connecticut Department of Labor during
the Partnership’s 20th anniversary conference on quality and
innovation, to be held Oct. 19 at the Water’s Edge Resort in Westbrook.
Media Contact: Nancy Steffens (860) 263-6535