MIIA has been hearing from its members that managing unemployment benefits is putting a strain on human resources departments and personnel. To help alleviate some of that stress, on July 1, MIIA launched its Unemployment Services Program.

It’s no wonder that managing unemployment claims has become problematic. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, Massachusetts paid $1.3 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

MIIA’s new program is designed to improve unemployment claim processing and reduce overall related costs. To help combat fraud, the MIIA program includes a proprietary unemployment claims management system that issues “red-flag alerts” for 27 possible payment errors, while highlighting probable fraud cases, thereby helping to protect members’ interests.

MIIA Executive Vice President Stan Corcoran said the cost of a single unemployment claim in Massachusetts can exceed $25,000.

“As a partner to our member communities in managing risk,” he said, “MIIA was happy to respond to requests and design this program, which should result in savings of dollars and valuable personnel time.”

The MIIA Unemployment Services Program also provides unemployment risk management and training, unemployment claims management, claims payment processing subject to member reimbursement, and the option to purchase customized “stop loss” (excess) insurance coverage.

MIIA is partnering with Unemployment Tax Management Corporation and First Nonprofit Companies, two companies with more than 90 years of combined experience in claims management and HR and unemployment training, respectively, to provide the new Unemployment Services Program.

Program participation is initially limited to MIIA’s workers’ compensation program participants, but will be rolled out to the larger membership in coming months.

To learn more, visit www.emiia.org/unemployment-services.