DATE: September 5, 2000       NO: 01-10

CONTACT: Nancy Davis  Phone: (907)465-5992

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

LABOR DEPT. MAKES FILING CLAIMS EASIER FOR AK'S EX-MILITARY

Vets Welcome Paperwork Reduction

Former military personnel in Alaska will get their unemployment claims filed more quickly as a result of Alaska's participation in a pilot testing program with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).

Alaska is one of five states that volunteered to participate in the pilot testing program, a high priority of USDOL, and one of only two states that has successfully transmitted ex-military wage data with the Louisiana Claims Control Center, which has a contract with USDOL to track federal claims.

"Alaska has been very successful in meeting Federal requirements to bring all our Interstate Connection Online functions up-to-date," said DOL's Employment Security Director Rebecca Gamez. "Because we have kept apace, we will be able to facilitate initial unemployment wage claim filing and wage transfers for Alaska's veterans."

Under the old system, former members of the armed forces are required to physically provide separation papers showing years of service and discharge reasons before being deemed eligible for benefits.

According to Laddie Shaw, Veterans Affairs Coordinator in the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Alaska has more veterans per capita than all but one state. "Upon separating from the military, many soldiers choose to stay in Alaska," Shaw said. "Those who have not yet found a job and need to collect unemployment will welcome this efficient government-to-government information transfer."

The test will be extended to the end of September 2000, with implementation by the states scheduled to begin November 2000.

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