Confusing points in unemployment insurance application eliminated

By John McPhaul

Labor and Human Resources (DTRH by its Spanish initials) Secretary Carlos J. Rivera Santiago announced Tuesday the elimination of several controversial points in the unemployment insurance application that have led to errors by the claimants completing the application.

The changes will benefit 13,447 claimants whose claims generated a safety alert, the Labor secretary said.

“Given the complexity of the technological system used by unemployment insurance, the contractor in charge of the platform informed us that after several weeks the controversial student points, advance payment orders, incomplete payment orders, and other orders could be eliminated by programming late payment,” Rivera Santiago said.

At the same time, he said, the elimination of the controversial points represented the disbursement of $3.1 million.

“These eliminated controversial points did not represent major problems from a security point of view, and for this reason their elimination was authorized; however, others cannot be eliminated because they require additional information or technical assistance by federal regulation,” Rivera Santiago said.

The Labor chief noted that the highest volume of controversial points is a result of voluntary abandonment (7,680), dismissals (8,971), incorrect conduct due to disciplinary measures (4,431) and the payment of vacations or liquidations (9,775).

“These controversial points specifically require an interview by the agency’s staff, both with the employer and with the claimant. Once that process is completed, the case is adjudicated,” he said. “As a general rule, controversial resignations and dismissals due to disciplinary measures do not qualify to receive compensation from Unemployment Insurance, so it requires greater scrutiny.”

Controversial points are security alerts that arise when the request completed by the claimant contains inaccurate information. Until the request is validated, the system stops the payment of compensation.