NEW YORK STATE
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
The state of New York was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with three million New Yorkers suddenly out of work last spring due to forced business closures and layoffs. As a result, the New York State Department of Labor, which oversees unemployment claims, was overwhelmed with requests. In a very compressed timeframe, the department began handling more claims in a day than it normally did in an entire year. Managing that amount of volume quickly became untenable both from a technology and HR perspective.
People’s livelihoods were on the line, and the department needed to quickly respond to the crisis; however, the State realized their legacy technologies and processes could not handle the surge in demand. The department turned to UiPath, a provider of robotic process automation (RPA) technologies, and the New York State Office of Information Technology Services to automate the processing of millions of incoming claims. The state employed an army of hundreds of bots, which greatly accelerated the number of claims the state was able to process in a short amount of time, ensuring that claimants would receive their benefits quickly.
Noteworthy results included: A reduction in the time it took to process each claim—from 45 minutes to just over 1 minute, an elimination of a backlog of 1.3 million claims that had yet to be entered, while allowing the department to fight fraudulent claims. As a result, the state saved $1.5 billion that would have otherwise been incurred due to fraudulent claims being paid out, and it had the lowest percentage of dollars wasted due to fraudulent unemployment claims in the country.
The partnership between the Department of Labor and UiPath has proven to be a prime example of how state governments and private industries can come together to produce great outcomes for citizens. In the early weeks of the pandemic, the state, under the guidance of Governor Andrew Cuomo and Commissioner Roberta Reardon, worked tirelessly with representatives from UiPath to develop a system to expedite claims processing. Teams worked 24 hours a day to get the system up and running—which they did within a matter of days. Their work created a blueprint for other states, showing them how to leverage human ingenuity and technology to create something new and impactful. Thanks to the quick work of the State of New York, they were able to get much-needed benefits to citizens—quickly.