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To Manage Pandemic Unemployment, This State Agency Adopted a New Digital Service

With unemployment expected to jump from 3% to 14% in Oklahoma, staff at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) knew their system’s decades-old programming would not be able to handle the influx of traditional unemployment applications or adapt to the new legislation for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications from residents.

To better serve their citizens, the OESC had to act fast.

The OESC quickly improved their outdated system in one day. Now, with a new service powered by Granicus govService, they can make it easy to submit and process PUA pre-applications online. The new service lets residents wanting to access the PUA relief reserve their place in line digitally.

New Digital System Launched in One Day

Within 24 hours of receiving the OESC’s final requirements, Granicus, in partnership with the Oklahoma’s Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), the agency that oversees technology for the state, had finished building their online PUA pre-application. The pre-application process helps staff mitigate a surge in applications and streamline the internal process once the funding is made available, so residents can access the relief sooner.

Since launching the digital service, OESC has received 7,973 completed pre-applications. Oklahoma is one of the first states with a system in place to handle PUA applications.

OESC Executive Director Robin Roberson said in a recent news article, “this is an important first-step in being able to receive this relief as quickly as possible when the state is ready to begin processing these claims.”

Granicus and OMES will continue to build a govService platform for all other aspects of OESC’s online unemployment filing system. All updates are expected to be completed in less than two weeks after the launch of the PUA pre-application service.

Pre-Application Service Enhanced With Digital Comms

The digital service is being used in tandem with govDelivery, the Granicus email, text, and social media software. When citizens complete an online pre-application, they will receive automatic email updates and other important communications from the OESC.

“Oklahoma has clearly positioned themselves as a top 10 state, by placing a targeted focus on digital transformation during a time of great uncertainty and with a true citizen-first focus,” said Rachel Keen, the Granicus project manager overseeing OESC’s new system build.

The announcement of the online process comes mere weeks after Granicus helped the State of Oklahoma launch their online driver’s licensing renewal service to mitigate impacts of social distancing.

Bringing It All Together

Government agencies around the world are working nonstop to provide services to residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19. This includes quickly fixing cracks in old systems and processes that, under new pressures, have become chasms. For the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC), their crack was the decadesold programming in their online unemployment filing system. With quick work, they improved the outdated system, building a bridge over a chasm, to the great benefit of residents. 

Digitize Critical Services Quickly With govService

Contact Granicus experts today to learn about a fast, free path to smart digital services that help with your COVID-19 response. Learn more >>