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DWD blames decades-old coding software for delays in unemployment benefits

(MGN Photo)
(MGN Photo)(KWQC)
Published: May. 7, 2020 at 8:13 PM CDT
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Decades-old coding software used by the Department of Workforce Development is being blamed for the major delays in unemployment benefits.

The department confirmed to our

that its 1970s versoin of COBOL software is the reason for issues with unemployment claim processing and payments.

DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman says a COBOL software error is the reason double payments were put in U.S. Bank accounts last week and that COBOL has made things difficult while rolling out federal unemployment programs quickly.

Frostman says the department started getting bids from vendors to replace the software late last year but was unable to secure a replacement before the pandemic hit.

"We wanted to make that upgrade as soon as possible, and we didn't get that modernization done before COVID hit. We really had it at a high priority because of the lessons learned coming out of the Great Recession," Frostman told WMTV.

Frostman said the DWD asked lawmakers for improvements to the COBOL system in March but lawmakers didn't take up the request.

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