How Arizona's unemployment office saw a decline in PUA claims

·1 min read

Data: Arizona Department of Economic Security; Chart: Axios Visuals

Arizona has been particularly public about the anti-fraud controls in its unemployment office.

By the numbers: Arizona has said that it saw 570,400 initial PUA claims filed in the week ending October 10, 2020. A month later, after hiring ID.me to filter new applications, that number had plunged by 99% to 6,700.

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  • In December, the ID.me contract was expanded to include continuing PUA claims — which at that point were numbering 268,556 per week. One week later, the number of continuing PUA claims had fallen to 85,174 — a decrease of 68.3%.

  • Something very similar happened with the main Arizona unemployment insurance program. In the week of February 6, the state saw 75,041 new UI claims. Then it brought in ID.me. The following week, the number of new UI claims fell by 96.3% to 2,759.

What they're saying: “When it became clear that fraud was rising within this program, we added identity verification to the regular UI system February 6,” Arizona Department of Economic Security press secretary Tasya Peterson tells Axios. The move, she says, “has significantly reduced the number of fraudulent claims received.”

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