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Governor extends Ernst & Young contract for unemployment

By Crystal Staley/Sebastian Kitchen

Gov. Beshear announced on Tuesday he again is extending Ernst & Young's contract, which began in July, to help process unemployment insurance claims.

"Today, I'm announcing we will extend our partnership with EY through the end of the year," the Governor said. "As a reminder, EY is one of the big four accounting and consulting firms and has significant experience in unemployment insurance claims. The firm has helped other states with UI problems and has the personnel, skill, experience and resources to help Kentucky get the job done."

Gov. Beshear said that in nine weeks, EY helped Kentucky process more than 141,000 claims. By extending the contract through the end of the year, the Governor said officials expect to get through about 70,000 disputed claims awaiting adjudication.

Gov. Beshear was joined by Amy Cubbage, deputy secretary of the Labor Cabinet, who provided further details.

"The first phase of the contract was for a four-week term, and when that initial term ended successfully with the processing of approximately 61,000 initial and continuing claims, we extended the EY contract for another five weeks to help us resolve continuing claims," Deputy Secretary Cubbage said.

She said the new contract is worth about $4.9 million.

Deputy Secretary Cubbage noted the original EY contract as well as the extensions all are being funded with money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and would not affect the state's normal budget.

She said that in mid-August Kentucky applied for and has been approved to use outside help like EY contractors to write letters of determination, a time-sensitive process that has slowed many claims.

"Kentucky is only the second state to turn to outside help to issue determinations," Deputy Secretary Cubbage said.

She said EY will provide 100 staffers to assist in prepaing the written determinations for four weeks, and then 25 staffers for another 12 weeks.

"We believe this will cut the time to issue the pandemic-related backlog of adjudications by approximately half," Deputy Secretary Cubbage said.

This story was posted on 2020-09-02 08:10:07
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