How Sas Helps States Combat Unemployment Insurance Fraud
Record-high unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic have heightened the risk of unemployment insurance fraud, costing states hundreds of millions of dollars and delaying delivery of benefits to people in need. SAS helps unemployment agencies ensure the integrity of their unemployment benefits programs by detecting unemployment insurance fraud faster without jeopardizing legitimate payments to individuals.
Quickly detect high-impact unemployment insurance fraud that may indicate organized crime or identity theft rings.
Identify highly suspicious claims in real time using a combination of network analytics, machine learning techniques, and domain expertise from working with unemployment agencies across multiple states.
Gain a networked view of risk for unemployment insurance fraud to identify patterns hidden in huge volumes of unemployment claims data.
Reduce false positives so your limited resources can focus on the highest priority cases and efficiently deliver benefit payments to those in need.
How The States And Federal Government Are Responding
The U.S. Department of Labor stepped in on Sept. 1, and directed $100 million in funding to combat unemployment fraud across the country. These funds will be used for fraud investigations and to build new identity verification tools to prevent future fraud.
California in particular has been overwhelmed with unemployment claims, with nearly three million cases reported in the week ending Sept. 12. In a press release, California Employment Development Department spokesperson Loree Levy said, “We certainly have legitimate PUA claims in California, but we do suspect that a big part of the unusual recent rise in PUA claims is linked to fraud. Ten days later, the EDD announced all call center assistance would close to focus on paying outstanding claims and update payment systems.;
The shutdown impacted thousands of Californians needing to file new unemployment claims, who were subsequently sent to a temporary webpage to submit their info.
Arizona, Washington, Oklahoma and Montana have faced similar issues. Suzi LeVine, the Washington Employment Security Department Commissioner announced they recovered over $330 million in stolen benefits in May. ;
In June, Arizona and Montana both announced they were expanding staff to continue monitoring for fraudulent activity.;
Project Hack #: Management Of Change
Group of businessman standing next to a text Business Procâ¦ | Flickrwww.flickr.com
One of the most challenging parts of project management is ensuring that the scope and associated deliverables are clearly defined. I think it is of upmost importance that the project manager be involved during the development of the scope deliverables so as to avoid ambiguities while giving the project team the best chance to execute a successful project.
Even if the scope is not 100% bulletproof, the project team can still manage it in such a way that any potential changes that arise during execution can be studied carefully to determine their impact, both internally and externally.
When the customer introduces a change, or external MOC, this is the opportunity for the project team to calculate the impact on the costs, schedule, and quality so as to determine if a change order request will be presented to the customer. This is a classic example of MOCs and a way for the project team to increase the margin based on its ability to “sell” the change order to the customer.
When internal changes occur, either by some department of the company or the project team itself, the internal MOC is raised and the project team analyzes the impacts much like the external MOC. Cost savings may not necessarily need to be passed over to the customer and these savings will also help the bottom line of the project.
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Types Of Unemployment Insurance Fraud
- Failing to report your employment. This includes: cash jobs, commission, self-employment, 1099, or temporary.
- Making a false statement or misrepresenting information to increase or receive benefits .
- Not reporting your work refusals.
- Fabricating job searches or not conducting a solid work search.
- Not reporting a work separation.
- Using another individual’s identity to work and file for insurance payments.
- Failing to report being incapable and not available to work and receiving benefits.
- Not reporting other types of reimbursement .
- Helping somebody file a fraudulent insurance claim.
Impact On Employed Americans
Your unemployment benefits will not disappear if you need them in the future. However, you will likely deal with issues to clear your name of any fraud before receiving your benefits.;
Gilbert Villareal Mendonca from Hayward, California, was notified on Sept. 3 by his employer that they received a letter from the EDD indicating a scammer filed for unemployment under his name. Villareal Mendonca had no idea how his information was compromised and after he was notified, he attempted to contact the California EDDs fraud hotline. However, he ran into several roadblocks.
Gilbert tried to contact the EDD to submit the necessary documents, but was met with technical issues. He sent a letter explaining the case, and is now waiting to hear an update. In the meantime, he has enrolled in identity theft protection through his employer.
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What To Do If Youre A Victim Of Unemployment Benefit Fraud
The situation can create a huge headache for anyone attempting to claim much needed unemployment benefits. The good news is that you will not lose out on any benefitsbut the bad news is it can cause major delays if you are claiming benefits now or in the future.
If you discover you have been a victim of unemployment fraud, here are a few steps to begin rectifying the situation.
Us Department Of Labor Provides $100 Million To States To Combat Unemployment Insurance Fraud
WASHINGTON, DC The U.S. Department of Labor today announced $100 million in funding to support state efforts to combat fraud and recover improper payments in the Unemployment Insurance program, including those programs created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
At the same time, the Departments Employment and Training Administration issued UI Program Letter 28-20, which highlights tools and strategies to assist states in strengthening their anti-fraud operations, including the availability of a new identity verification solution to confirm the identity of individuals filing for unemployment benefits.
The coronavirus has led to an unprecedented increase among state workforce agencies in the number of individuals filing claims to receive benefits in the regular UI program as well as the CARES Act UI programs, specifically the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs. As states work diligently to provide these important benefits to eligible individuals, they also face significant challenges due to increased fraudulent activity and identity theft amid new and emerging fraud schemes.
States are permitted to use this targeted funding for staff or contract services to conduct fraud investigations and other fraud detection-related activities, and to implement tools to increase prevention, detection and recovery of fraudulent improper payments in the PUA and PEUC programs.
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States Report Widespread Unemployment Fraud During Pandemic
During a June 1 Congressional Subcommittee briefing, the Department of Labor estimated that at least $26 billion in unemployment insurance benefits payments related to the COVID-19 pandemic could be wasted due to potential unemployment fraud.;Those overpayments are no longer available to help support out-of-work individuals in need. During the briefing, the DOL Inspector General stated that “Shortcomings in state IT systems prevented eligible individuals from receiving benefits in a timely manner.” The IG’s intent is to “ensure that IT systems are better prepared to accommodate changes to the unemployment insurance programs, including a surge in claims.”
Many states have reported issues with unemployment fraud, with some even temporarily halting unemployment payments. This means that thousands of unemployed workers saw a delay in their claim processes and benefit payments. In response, Equifax pulled together its data and fraud experts to introduce an Unemployment Insurance Eligibility suite of solutions to help state workforce agencies reduce potential fraud and overpayments.
What Should You Do If You Mistakenly Received Benefits Or Alerts From The Unemployment Insurance Agency
According to the FBI, there has been a spike in fraudulent UI claims filed using stolen identities lately. That being said, fraudulent funds may have been transferred under your name without you even knowing it.
Should you receive an unauthorized UI claims notification, you should
- Report to your employers Human Resource department
- Immediately inform your bank of the unauthorized transactions
- Contact the major credit bureaus to update your credit records
- Notify the Internal Revenue Service
- Report to the Federal Trade Commission using the identitytheft.gov website
Since many victims of identity theft are unaware that their names are being used for fraudulent claims, you must always be on the lookout for any suspicious activities. You can do this by securing your account, monitoring your credit report, bank accounts, and so on.
Fortunately, you will not lose your benefits if you ever fell victim to this scam; however, it might cause delays when you claim your benefits.
Fraudulent claims like identity theft are just one of the many contributing factors that cause delays and backlogs at the states unemployment office.
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How Is Unemployment Fraud Detected
Each state has its own detection methods to identify claimants who commit Unemployment Insurance fraud. Apart from public tips, other information sources for potential UI fraud are
- cross-matching of available data;
- data analytics that helps spots errors and flag irregularities;
- claim Center Referrals;
- and so on.
So if you think you might have committed even the slightest UI fraud, it would be best to get advice from an experienced attorney in order to remedy the situation. An experienced attorney would in turn help you lower the fines or punishment if you think you unintentionally committed UI fraud.
What Happens To People Who Commit Unemployment Fraud In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation program overpaid benefits by an estimated $227 million in 2009 due to fraud. That amounts to 4.68 percent of all the money in paid out that year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Benefit Integrity Measurement Program, which tracks overpayments of unemployment benefits in all 50 states. If the agency denies benefits for any reason, including a suspicion of fraud, they must provide advance notice and give you time to appeal.
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How Can Unemployment Insurance Fraud Be Detected
There are a lot of ways how unemployment insurance fraud is identified. Here are some of them:
- Public tips by internet, mail, or phone
- New employer’s hire reports
- Cross-matches with some government records
- Quality control audits
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These days, unemployment insurance fraud seldom goes unpunished. We hope this article has informed you about unemployment insurance fraud, and helps you avoid any potential mistakes while you’re unemployed.
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This post was originally published at an earlier date.
When managing a project, the project management team really needs to understand the expectations of top management as well as those of the key stakeholders who have a vested interest in the project.
Although the project team may focus on the key performance indicators and strive to meet these targets by using proven project management techniques, there are several other techniques the team can use in order to make a direct, positive impact on the final results.
Do You Need To Actively Search For Work To Stay Eligible
Due to the coronavirus, states were given the flexibility to determine whether you are actively seeking work. For example, states like California will not require you to look for work each week in order to be eligible for benefits. With that, it is best to check how your state has adapted and adjusted to the pandemic.
Should the coronavirus be nonexistent or you managed to ride out this pandemic, then you would need to actively seek and be available to work every week in order to claim your UI benefits. Thankfully, there are government services free of charge that can help you in your job search. You can visit your local American Job Center so that they can further assist you.
State Directory For Reporting Unemployment Identity Theft
Refer to each state’s specific guidance around reporting unemployment identity theft. Some states may refer to unemployment as “reemployment assistance” or may refer to identity theft as “imposter fraud”.
Never send personal information or documents to unverified sites or in response to requests from social media. The resources below have been verified by state and federal government.
For technical issues with this website, accessibility problems, or to report non-working phone numbers or broken website links in the State Directory, please contact: .State Directory
Boost The Productivity And Efficiency Of Your Staff
- Combine all information on associated claims and claimants across multiple employer accounts or standard and PUA claims into one consolidated view that enables you to spot linked entities and crime rings you would otherwise miss. This saves valuable time and enables you to take action faster.
- Speed up investigations and take action faster by integrating data from multiple sources into a single interface.
- Incorporate tips and leads from multiple systems into the solution. A universal search feature puts all relevant data at your fingertips, even if you only have a single address or phone number to work with.
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What Is Unemployment Insurance
It is an insurance program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers. The Unemployment Insurance program operates in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. All states follow the same guidelines established by the federal government and the Department of Labor, but each state administers the unemployment insurance program on its own.
These benefits are meant to be paid for a maximum of 26 weeks in most states, and the amount is generally based on your percentage earnings over the past 52-week period up to a State maximum amount.
The federal government will provide you with unemployment benefits if you become unemployed without your own fault and you meet the other eligibility requirements.
You May Be A Victim Of Unemployment Identity Theft If You Received:
- Mail from a government agency about an unemployment claim or payment and you did not recently file for unemployment benefits. This includes unexpected payments or debit cards and could be from any state.
- A 1099-G tax form reflecting unemployment benefits you weren’t expecting. Box 1 on this form may show unemployment benefits you did not receive or an amount that exceeds your records for the unemployment benefits you did receive. The form itself may be from a state in which you do not live or did not file for benefits.
- While you are still employed, a notice from your employer indicating that your employer received a request for information about an unemployment claim in your name.
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Contact The Three Major Credit Bureaus
If someone is claiming your unemployment benefits, it is very likely they have your Social Security Number. To minimize the damage they can impose on your financial health, it is best to contact the three credit bureaus to freeze your credit reports. You can do this over the phone, or online. The bureaus legally must freeze, and unfreeze, your credit reports for free.;
Once your reports are frozen, anyone who tries to open an account in your name should be thwarted. But remember: If you want to apply for a loan, or credit card, you need to unfreeze your reports first.
Fraud In Unemployment Insurance
SCAM ALERT: The Department of Justice has ;issued a warning about websites that look like unemployment benefits sites but are fake and designed to trick you into disclosing personal information.
Expansion of unemployment programs and the easing of some eligibility requirements under the CARES Act have led to increased fraud especially identity theft. Some people who would not have normally been eligible to receive regular unemployment benefits became eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance . In addition, U.S. Department of Labor rules allowed people to receive benefits prior to their filing claims.;
In California, the Employment Development Department , which administers the states Unemployment Insurance program, reported that in February 2020 unemployment surged from 4.3% to 16.2%. The EDD received around 2.4 million claims in April 2020, about 13 times as many as it received in April 2019.;
The California State Auditor found that the massive increase in claims may have made the EDDs fraud detection efforts more difficult. While the EDD did stop approximately $12.8 billion in potentially fraudulent payments, it also approved almost 597,000 claims totaling $10.4 billion in payments that might have been fraudulent. The total approved claims represented about 10% of all processed unemployment claims. The State Auditor also found that, because of the overwhelming increase in claims, the EDD approved possibly fraudulent claims while legitimate claims werent processed.;
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Can Employers Commit Unemployment Fraud As Well
Yes, apart from claimants, employers can be charged with UI fraud as well. Since employers are also financially responsible for your UI benefits, they have to follow several guidelines and protocols too.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employer fraud is comprised of actions to avoid tax liability or establishing a fictitious account that would enable fraudulent claims.
Some of the examples of employers UI fraud are
- Reporting that the employee was fired even if he/she is laid off
- Providing false information about the employees wage, hours, or any information that would result in an overpayment
- Withholding unemployment insurance deductions from employees checks
- Not paying the corresponding contributions to the Employment Development Department