Supporting Unemployment Insurance Systems

State of Kansas


Tens of millions of Americans are suddenly out of work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a surge in Unemployment Insurance (UI) applications nationwide. In addition to traditional UI, states are administering Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a program passed by Congress as a part of the CARES Act. 


Due to layoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) saw a 5,000 percent increase in traffic to its unemployment insurance (UI) application website overnight, overwhelming its existing systems and causing delays in response times. The KDOL team needed help with scaling their UI system to effectively meet demand, and also adapting it in support of the Pandemic Unemployment Act (PUA).

The Work

The team in Kansas connected with USDR, explained the issue and was matched with volunteers who assisted with trouble-shooting and advising on the problems that KDOL was having, Ultimately, USDR recommended and helped implement a content delivery network (CDN) to support the UI system even with significantly higher traffic and applications. 

Practices Used

  • Technical consultation
  • Service design

The Impact

USDR’s work helped cut visitor response times in half on the Kansas Department of Labor website. USDR has also had an ongoing consulting role in improving the site performance and reducing load on KDOL systems and staff, including scaling and security.

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