PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pennsylvania’s “woefully outdated” computer system used to handle unemployment claims will not get previously promised upgrades.
For the past few months, The Department of Labor and Industry’s Secretary Jerry Oleksiak has said the new system would go live in October.
With just a few days to go, the state announced it will now pause the launch of the new system.
This comes at the recommendation of state legislators, stakeholders and the U.S. Department of Labor, according to the Department of L&I.
The release states: “Pennsylvania will avoid potentially disrupting people relying on unemployment compensation by pausing the launch of the new system that will change how to file for claim and benefits.”
The state is still using 50-year-old technology to process claims.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller interviewed Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in August, who described the system as “woefully outdated” ad “held together with bubble gum and rubber bands.” He called for changes to the system back in 2017.
An overhaul was in the works and allegedly slated to rollout in October, but a committee is advising that now is not the time to change the UC system.
“For the many Pennsylvanians out of work because of COVID-19, the unemployment compensation system is providing a lifeline and crucial benefits that claimants need for food and housing during this unprecedented time,” said Secretary Oleksiak.
L&I has paid out more than $28 billion in unemployment claims since March 15.
Stay with KDKA and KDKA.com as Meghan Schiller will have more on this story at KDKA News at 6PM.