Identity verification provider ID.me has announced that it has verified the identities of more than 200,000 American citizens over the past several months, leading to the distribution of roughly $1.2 billion in unemployment claims.
The claims were filed across seven different states and comprise various types of unemployment benefits from state insurance plans as well as the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (otherwise known as the CARES Act) stimulus program.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has led to a massive surge in unemployment rates across the United States, with a large number of unemployment claims coming from workers in hard-hit industries like travel, entertainment, and retail. Additionally, claims numbering in the millions have been fraudulently filed by criminal organizations looking to take advantage of a strained system and state employees who are being overworked due to the massive surge in identity verification required.
This situation, coupled with the fact that traditional ID verification methods rely on people having credit data on file — something that is less likely for recent immigrants, low income families, and young adults — means that verification can fail for up to 30 percent of users.
“If the past six months have taught us anything, it is that the status quo model for online identity verification doesn’t work,” said Blake Hall, CEO and Founder of ID.me. “From an inclusion and access standpoint, less affluent Americans are often unable to prove their identity online. And, fraudsters who use breached personal data are able to walk away with millions.”
ID.me uses a self-service remote verification application, with a fallback to a live video conference session with one of ID.me’s 24-hour support personnel.
With either method, claimants are able to present over 30 different types of identification documents to authenticate their identity.
“With so many people struggling to pay bills and put food on the table, it is time for a new and inclusive approach,” said Hall. “Our identity verification platform and network of tens of millions of pre-verified ID.me users is already helping states to scale their identity verification program to process tens of thousands of claims per day while blocking the vast majority of fraud.”
To date, more than 28 million Americans have opened ID.me accounts, the company says.