Unemployment claims are the bane of HR departments. Not only are they costly, but they also require quick, accurate, and informed action. If your organization operates in multiple jurisdictions, that increases the complexity. Hunting for the proper documentation in multiple physical locations and data systems scattered across the country, or even across the globe, can mean the difference between successfully defending an illegitimate claim and paying it.

Failure to properly manage unemployment claims can be expensive. In the U.S., each successful claim affects your company’s experience rating, causing the associated tax rate to rise, potentially costing you thousands annually, depending on how many claims and employees you have.

A timely and accurate response to unemployment claims can be heavily assisted by the right technology. Read on to learn how an end-to-end HR document management system helps place the right files at the fingertips of those who must respond to unemployment claims.

Think Fast

When your company receives an unemployment claim, the clock starts ticking. While former employees can file a claim any time following termination, your company must respond typically within seven to 14 days from the mailing date of the notice. All too often, employers are saddled with unemployment costs simply because their responses were late or incomplete. A best-in-class HR document management system makes responding to claims quick and easy by aggregating all documents into a central repository, where they can be accessed from the cloud wherever and whenever necessary.

Keep It Together

Speed isn’t the only key to properly responding to an unemployment claim — complete and up-to-date documents are crucial. HR organizations must maintain a complete set of records throughout an employee’s tenure, from recruitment to termination and beyond.

This is easier said than done. As companies grow organically and by acquisition, the number and type of employment documents increases dramatically. And if employees transfer locations, their employment documents may not properly travel with them, but be stuck in a file cabinet or manager’s computer. As a result, there could be gaps or redundancies in performance and disciplinary records, which are vital to proper claim response. Not only must your document management system provide centralized access, but it should also help with making sure files are complete and up-to-date. Using content awareness and sophisticated automation, a best-in-breed document management system can flag gaps and even send requests to employees or alerts to HR to update documents such as certifications or employee performance reviews before they expire or are due.

Make It Secure

Your document management system should also keep sensitive data safe and compliant with government regulations and corporate governance requirements, yet shareable with the personnel who need them. Rather than emailing or printing out documents in response to these requests, HR administrators should be able to grant limited access to the documents without the documents ever leaving the system. In addition, your technology solution should record every access and every action taken on a document to create a complete audit trail.

Get Ready Before Your Next Claim

Unemployment claims can bog down even the most efficient HR organizations and result in costly missteps. To learn more about how a comprehensive, end-to-end document management solution can help your department better manage employee documents, download our free eBook, “A Blueprint for HR Document Transformation,” or listen in on our HR.com webcast, What’s New in HR Compliance: I-9 through Unemployment Claims.


Andrea Palumbo has over 20 years of experience in the HR and Payroll industry as both an HRIS client and vendor. Her teams are responsible for implementing and maintaining critical HR technology, data and timely processing of payroll for over 1300 employees globally. Andrea’s in-depth knowledge of HR Technology and sensitive employee data allow her to convey the benefits of having a robust HRIS and data management systems working together side by side.