Arizona Department of Economic Security: Automating detection of fraudulent claims    

Client-Story-Arizona Department of Economic Security

The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) works with the state’s residents to ensure that every child, adult and family in Arizona is safe and economically secure.  

Following the passage of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in 2020, state agencies across the country saw a huge surge in unemployment claims, especially for the newly created Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit. The DES is responsible for managing the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for Arizona.

With millions of requests for assistance coming through its benefit portal, the Arizona DES was under mounting pressure to release payments to its backlog of claimants, but it suspected that many of the claims being submitted were fraudulent.

Egen used Google Cloud Platform to develop a framework that helps the Arizona DES segment potentially fraudulent claims from legitimate ones.

Using analytical techniques, we built a list of flags to help determine fraud and developed a rules-based system that generated a score for a particular claimant. The flags were weighted based on their importance in detecting suspicious activity. Egen coordinated with Arizona DES personnel who conducted audits to optimize the flags and weightings based on feedback they provided.

This framework enabled the DES to release payments for claims with a low probability of fraud, identify claims with high indicators of fraud, and focus adjudicators on investigating the more complex claims.

The solution delivered for the Arizona DES provides a verification process to facilitate automation and reduce the amount of time to check for potentially fraudulent claims. The scalable system was able to process 4.3 million claimants in a matter of hours.

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