Identification software issues bar many from unemployment benefits
The platform ID.me is run by a software company in Virginia, and it’s now a required part of more than 20 states’ unemployment programs. For many people, the ID.me process is simple: they use their smartphones to scan their faces and upload pictures of their government-issued identity cards. The images are checked by a facial recognition system. ID.me is meant to block scammers who are using fake or stolen identities to claim unemployment benefits, but the process is also cutting off an unknown number of people who don’t have the right technology or the right identification. While users were told assistance would soon be provided, the company hasn’t delivered on their promise of help; ID.me CEO, Blake Hall, said that a network of in-person verification kiosks would open across the nation on June 1 of 2021. That still hasn’t happened as of July, and even if they do arrive, many rural communities will miss out because the company’s proposal was too pricey and overly focused on urban areas. While a fraction of people have been able to connect to state call centers, many still need help.
No Internet, No Unemployment: Solving This ID.me Glitch Took Two Months And A Journey Across The Rural Front Range