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Colorado launching ID.me biometric identity verification to fight pandemic claims fraud

Californian lawmaker blasts department for delays as deadlines loom
Colorado launching ID.me biometric identity verification to fight pandemic claims fraud

ID.me has been selected by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to provide biometric identity proofing as protection against fraud for the state’s unemployment benefits, the Colorado Sun reports.

The federal government has instructed all states to vet applicants for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance by January 27. Labor department Executive Director Joe Barela said ID.me will be used to verify the legitimacy of claims held up by weeks or months after being flagged as potentially fraudulent. All new claims must perform identity verification through ID.me, with payouts released following a verification with facial recognition.

There were more than 300,000 people making weekly benefits requests as of January 2, according to the report. Implementation of the ID.me solution is expected to be completed in the next week or two.

ID.me is currently used in 14 states, including Pennsylvania, with contracts in others. The Pennsylvania system makes use of ID document scanning and database checks, but not biometrics, for identity verification.

California also using ID.me

The Employment Development Department of California is also using ID.me, and a local ABC station reports that some applicants have been waiting for days to have video calls, after the EDD suspended 1.4 million accounts on New Year’s Eve in its fight against fraud.

Applicants are being directed to ID.me and asked to supply two forms of identification along with a video selfie for biometric matching. Account onboarding is also secured through MFA. In cases where the applicant’s identity cannot be automatically verified, users are referred to a video call with an ID.me trusted referee.

ABC 10 reports that some applicants who are waiting have been told their claims will be cancelled if their identity is not verified by a certain day. California Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez blasted the EDD over its accountability and communication.

Different ID credentials can take different lengths of time to verify, according to the report, with W2s taking the least time because the state already has employer information in its system, while birth certificates and social security earning statements can take more than four weeks.

Late last year, ID.me announced it would hire 1,000 new employees to meet fast-rising demand for its identity verification services, with and without biometrics.

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