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Labor Department’s WebBenefits System Increases Agency Efficiency, Customer Service

For immediate release
February 7, 2008
 

WETHERSFIELD - A Connecticut Department of Labor WebBenefits system that provides for the online filing of unemployment claims is achieving its intended goal – increasing efficiency by opening up telephone access to the agency and giving CTWorks Center staff additional time to work one-on-one with customers, assisting them in finding new jobs.

  

“Close to 35 percent of all weekly claims are now being filed online through our WebBenefits system, while six percent of all new claims are being filed using this method,” explains State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield. “Our Internet claims system uses simple text instructions and easily navigable screens, or pages, with various options for inputting data." 

 

According to Mayfield, Internet filers often can complete a claim filing transaction in less than one minute. In contrast, the average telephone call to file a claim using the computerized Dial to File system takes an average of six minutes. 

 

“By introducing state-of-the-art technology to provide the option of filing by Web or by phone, we have been able to focus more of our efforts on helping residents find new jobs or begin new careers,” Mayfield noted. “Too often, the Labor Department is referred to as the ‘unemployment office’ while in reality, the variety of job search and training services we offer makes the agency one of the most valuable ‘employment’ offices in town.” 

Through the state’s CTWorks offices located throughout the state, visitors can meet with a career counselor, have résumés critiqued by Nationally Certified Professional Résumé Writers, take part in employment workshops, or use the Career Centers computers to research companies and apply for jobs. Other services include an electronic job bank, phone, fax machines, résumé paper, and referrals to other related services that may be needed to secure a job.  

“With a total of 50,000 customers filing a claim for unemployment benefits in Connecticut each week, the online system has been critical in our success in directing more of our efforts toward helping people get back to work,” Mayfield said. “In the two years since we first offered the Web claims service, we are continuously upgrading our technologies, and today our WebBenefits system features multiple levels of security to protect customer data. In addition, it is also fully accessible to users with disabilities and our Spanish-speaking customers.”

 

The WebBenefits system was also recently singled out by the Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership, Inc. during that organization’s 20th anniversary conference on quality and innovation. The Partnership, which recognizes organizations that excel in managing quality improvement for business success and growth, presented the Labor Department with a Silver Innovation prize for the online system.  

 

“We are very proud of the customer service improvements we were able to provide to the public, as well as ability to better assist residents get back to work,” Mayfield said.  As a direct result of our WebBenefits system, telephone traffic to our Dial to File system has been lower, along with the number of busy signals. Additionally, wait times to access our telephone menu of services have been reduced by as much as 25 percent.” 

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535


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