Who during the darkest days of the pandemic, and even this year, cheated and participated in fraudulent schemes to collect thousands of dollars in unemployment insurance (Unemployment Insurance Benefits), they must take into account that sooner or later, the arm of justice will reach them. And in the best of scenarios they will be forced to return the money collected, through some irregular way.
Governor Kathy Hochul this week announced a crackdown on unemployment insurance fraud, after a New York State Department of Labor (DOL) investigation uncovered a massive insurance fraud involving more than $11 million in payments of these benefits in the month of August alone.
The state government announced that it will seek the reimbursement of fraudulent benefit payments at all costs.
Based on this investigation, the Department of Labor’s Office of Special Investigations is well on its way to discovering $110 million in fraudulently obtained benefitsthis year only.
“At the height of the pandemic, when our state experienced an unprecedented unemployment crisis, this unemployment insurance scam took resources away from New Yorkers who needed them most,” he said. the state governor.
New fraud detection system
The DOL identified fraudulent payments using an updated fraud detection system. The process allows investigators to review cases more efficiently and expedite record requests to employers to confirm dates of employment. If the system detects a fraudulent payment, the claimant will have an opportunity to explain the discrepancy.
After review, if it is determined that the claimant worked while collecting benefits, DOL will take action to ensure that illicitly obtained payments are returned.
This includes setting up payment plans, garnish state tax returns and federal authorities and refer non-payment matters to state and/or federal law enforcement agencies, as necessary.
The verifications are brought forward, because in some cases, the workers have been identity theft victimswhere someone else uses your personal information to claim this benefit.
This can happen either whether or not you have claimed these funds in the past, whether or not you are currently working, and whether or not you receive other government benefits.
For her part, the commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor, Roberta Reardon asserted that when someone files a fraudulent unemployment insurance claim, “they are robbing New Yorkers.”
“We are alert and will continue to make sure hold these criminals to account. We thank companies and employers for working with us to uncover fraud.”
This new system is part of NYSDOL’s modernization efforts that include a four-year plan to improve the customer experience and reduce fraud.
- $45.6 billion of the National Unemployment Insurance program during the pandemic, fraudsters across the country may have stolen from the pandemic unemployment benefit program, using the Social Security numbers of deceased individuals and other tactics to deceive and defraud the US government. , report federal intelligence agencies.
NYSDOL is committed to ensuring that fraudulent unemployment insurance claims are prevented and corrected. To report UI fraud and learn more, visit the Report Fraud page on the NYSDOL website.