CT Dept of Labor: Commissioner Ordered Unemployment Appeals Filing Shutdown to Address System Error
(Wethersfield, CT) – On Tuesday, Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) Commissioner Bartolomeo ordered Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to shut down the unemployment appeals filing feature in ReEmployCT after Connecticut Appeals Division staff identified instances of the system issuing the same docket number to two separate claimants. The problem, related to a technical error, impacted some of the appeals that were filed Friday, January 20, 2023, through Tuesday, January 24, 2023. CTDOL has contacted the impacted filers.
The assignment of identical appeals docket numbers impacted 54 appeals filers whose data was available to the one other filer who was erroneously issued the same docket number. Filers had to be logged into a specific screen in the ReEmployCT system to have viewed the information; TCS cannot confirm that any claimant information was viewed by the unauthorized filer.
The agency has contacted the 54 claimants with guidance and offered credit monitoring for two years.
Commissioner Bartolomeo said, “On behalf of CTDOL, I sincerely apologize to these 54 claimants whose information was potentially exposed. This is a wholly unacceptable situation. We expect ReEmployCT to be a robust, high-quality, high-functioning system. While we anticipate service interruptions for updates and maintenance, CTDOL will not tolerate lapses that risk information or interfere with the unemployment system. Unemployment benefits are part of the social safety net; Connecticut’s workforce and our employers depend on it.”
Docket numbers are uniquely assigned so claimants and employers can track their cases through the appeals process. An appeals docket includes personal information such as name, address, Social Security number, and may include other documents specific to their unemployment application.
On Monday, January 23, 2023, CTDOL Appeals Division staff identified and reported an instance of docket number duplication to TCS, the vendor that built and maintains ReEmployCT for Connecticut and the consortium states. On Tuesday, as a system inquiry was already underway related to the Monday instance, Appeals staff noted additional instances occurring of duplicate docket numbers. Commissioner Bartolomeo ordered TCS to shut down the appeals filing feature for examination and report.
Appeals filing and regular unemployment benefits inquiry features remain closed. Unemployment benefit filing and other services are open to claimants and employers. The agency will assist any claimants and employers who may have missed an filing deadline due to the service interruption.
As is required under state law, CTDOL has filed notice of a potential unauthorized access/breach of security with the Connecticut State Auditors, the Office of the State Comptroller, and the Attorney General’s Office.
While ReEmployCT currently has just under 30,000 weekly unemployment benefits filers, they were not impacted by duplicate docket numbers. Additionally, filers with a scheduled appeals hearing are not impacted. The 54 appeals filers who were impacted have been contacted; appeals filers do not need to call CTDOL to follow up.