State of New York Claims Processing

Office of the State Comptroller

Claims and Reporting Information System (CRIS) – Document Management System


The State of New York needed a new application to manage unclaimed property life, replacing an aging mainframe-based system. From the moment abandoned property is reported to the State, through the moment a claimant is paid, the status and disposition of the property needs to be reliably tracked. The Office of Unclaimed Funds (OUF) administers one of the largest and most diverse collections of unclaimed property in the US, and they required a flexible system that let them respond quickly to regulatory and administrative changes.

A key challenge was automating the more than 100 documents that OUF generated on a regular basis. There were different procedures for different groups of documents, and some documents had to be manually edited for each specific situation.

Another key challenge was improving the efficiency of the claims processing operation. The existing cumbersome manual process resulted in a significant backlog of claims. Since OUF is a State office and claimants are also voters, the backlog was both an administrative and a political issue.

Our Solution

D. Lawton Associates was one of four firms that were hired to implement the new Claims & Reporting Information System (CRIS) for NY OSC. We designed and implemented the Document Management System (DMS), fully integrated with the core AS/400 database and the companion document imaging system (IRIS). This DMS desktop application was used by most of the nearly 200 staff in their Albany office.

Using this integrated system, all incoming paperwork was scanned and indexed, and routed to the correct work queue. OSC staff, assigned to specific work queues, reviewed incoming documents and decided on the appropriate course of action. When any outgoing documents (letters, forms, etc.) were needed, they were generated using DMS.

Key Features

  • Integration with the core AS/400 database and the IRIS imaging system.
  • “Smart documents”, with content determined by claimant type and property class, eliminating most manually-edited documents.
  • Rule-based work flow, so documents can only be used in the appropriate situations.
  • Automatic logging of all documents sent by OUF.
  • Bar codes on outgoing forms, for easy routing to correct work queue when the completed forms are returned and scanned.
  • Automated reminder notices when required forms are not returned in a timely manner.
  • Generate letterhead automatically on plain paper for documents requiring letterhead.
  • Document content and layout, including both template text and data-dependent text, was under OUF control.

Results for the State of New York

  • Significantly faster claims processing
  • Reduced claims backlog.
  • Improved customer service.
  • Improved management oversight.