Michiganders Still Struggling With Unemployment System
Its been more than a year since the pandemic began, and despite big changes on the part of the unemployment agency, were still seeing some of the same problems that plagued the system last spring.
It begs the question: how did we get here?
You dont know where youre going to be the next day, says Kelli Martin. On any given day, if one more thing goes wrong youre homeless.
For martin, a mother, each day feels like a roll of the dice.
On the day I met her, she was behind on rent, her car tags expired, and her cell phone was soon to be cut off.
Its really anxiety through the roof, she says.
Its an anxiety that began in February after her attempt to do a simple identity verification update on unemployment benefits hit a technical hiccup that sent her finances into a spiral.
And Kelli is far from alone. Elsewhere in Michigan is Linda Tobin.
My credit cards are maxed out, my savings account, thats gone, my credit score is a mess, she says.
Their stories follow countless complaints of delays, errors, and system mishaps The Rebound Detroit has been tracking since last spring.
But even today, over a year since the pandemic first hit, more than 70 percent of you tell me in a survey that youre still facing difficulties.
Thousands of Michiganders in desperation are seeking out help from the media, employment aid organizations, and from lawmakers.
In our office alone, weve helped almost a thousand people, says Democratic State Senator Mallory McMorrow.
Identity Theft And Your Irs Tax Return
Everyone who receives unemployment benefits will get an IRS Form 1099-G , used for reporting the income on your tax returns. When you file your federal income tax return, you must report income you received, but you should not report income that you did not receive. When you file your income taxes, only include income you actually received. Do not wait to receive a corrected 1099-G to file your taxes. Refer to the Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits page on IRS.gov for updates and additional tax filing information.
If you get a Form 1099-G but did not claim unemployment benefits or collect any or all the benefits listed on the Form, report the ID theft claim to TWC using the online Unemployment Fraud Submission portal and visit the IRS website for guidance on ID theft involving unemployment benefits. Once TWC has confirmed an individuals identity has been stolen, TWC will send a corrected report to the IRS.
Nurse Waiting Six Months For Uia To Verify Her Identity
MUSKEGON, Mich. A nurse who was laid off during the pandemic is still fighting with Michigans Unemployment Insurance agency trying to verify her identity.
Shes waited six months so far and still no answers, despite sending her ID documents in several times to the agency.
Why dont you believe who I am, LaDonna Yandell said with a chuckle. Thats probably my biggest question: What else can I do to prove I am who I say I am?
Yandell is a pastors wife who cannot seem to get a response from the UIA.
I do not have a familiar name, and if you Google my identity, theres not another LaDonna Yandell in the United States that Im aware of, she said.
Shes sent in her identity documents several times but still no movement on the claim and no money.
Its like how what are they doing to try to verify who I am? Ive sent them everything that I have, said Yandell. Nobody else has my social security card or my marriage license or my birth certificate.
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Yandells been a nurse for more than three decades. She applied for benefits after her former employer shut down entirely last summer.
We closed down due to COVID, completely closed the doors. In fact, this last week they tore the building down, she said.
Yandell tells FOX 17 that dealing with COVID is one of the scariest things of her life.
ELIGIBILITY AND DOCUMENTS
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How Does Unemployment Catch Fraud
Unemployment fraud can be charged if an individual fraudulently files for unemployment benefits. This can occur if the individual misreports previous income, lies on an application, fails to look for a new job or does not report an income source. If you are found guilty of unemployment fraud, you may be subject to civil and criminal punishments.
Choose How To Submit Photos
Step 3 After sending in photos of your ID, we will need you to take a video selfie using your phones camera feature. Ensure you are in a well-lit area before you begin. The instructions on your phone screen will lead you through the process. You will be asked to look at the colors on your phone screen while ID.me takes a short video selfie to verify that you are really you. See a Larger Screenshot
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Identity Verification For Unemployment Claims
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is partnering with federally certified identity verification provider ID.me to streamline the identity verification process on new unemployment claims.
Individuals filing new unemployment claims on LWCs HiRE website are briefly redirected to ID.mes website to create an ID.me account to verify their identity before being allowed to proceed with the claim registration. Users should save the recovery code provided in case they do not complete the verification the first time or need to change devices to complete the process.
The automated ID verification process takes about five minutes to complete for about 85 percent of users. For the others, ID.me offers video chats with trained representatives who assist with the ID verification.
- Common reasons for self-service failure include:
- ID document photo may be blurry or shadowed, or otherwise unreadable.
- Data sources – like credit bureaus – may have incorrect, insubstantial or outdated information. Common reasons include thin credit files, individuals with name changes and individuals without a permanent address.
- Phone number may not be associated with their name.
Individuals who use the ID.me verification when filing their new unemployment claim will have their identity verified much faster, eliminating extra steps in the claim review process. Identity verification for COVID-related unemployment claims is a requirement, per federal regulations.
How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For Unemployment In Ny
Once your application has been approved, the Department of Labor will send a Monetary Determination with information on your weekly benefit amount. After making your claim, it will take between two to three weeks to receive it.
Secondly, Why does my unemployment claim say $0 NY?
If your claim shows a determination of 0-0 while it is pending, this means we are still processing your claim, and there is nothing more you need to do. If you received a confirmation number, rest assured your claim is in process, and you will receive the full amount to which you are entitled.
Also What are the negatives of unemployment? The Disadvantages of Collecting Unemployment Benefits
- The Opportunity Cost. Collecting unemployment benefits for an extended period results in the opportunity cost of not being able to grow within an organization.
- Willingness to Hire Now.
- Costly Tax Mistakes.
In fact What is the maximum unemployment benefit in NY for 2020?
Your benefit amount is based on your earnings the maximum weekly benefit in New York is $504 . You can estimate what your benefits will be using this calculator: https://labor.ny.gov/benefit-rate- calculator/.
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How Do I Get Paid Edd
Receive Your Benefit Payments
It takes at least three weeks to process a claim for unemployment benefits and issue payment to most eligible workers. When your first benefit payment is available, you will receive a debit card in the mail. Once you activate the card you can track, use, and transfer your benefit payments.
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What To Do If You Received An Irs Form 1099
The Department of Justice Insurance Fraud Task Force is investigating numerous fraud schemes targeting state unemployment agencies, including TWC.
Criminal actors are filing fraudulent unemployment claims using stolen identities.
Because unemployment benefits are taxable, TWC issues Form 1099-G to the Internal Revenue Service and claimants. Individuals may receive Form 1099-G indicating that they were paid unemployment benefits for a claim they did not file. If you received a Form 1099-G for unemployment benefits on a claim you did not file, you should report it immediately using the online portal.
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Innocent Texans Suffering From Fraud Attack
For six weeks, Damon Bonewitz hasnt missed a single payment request. He also hasnt seen a dollar in unemployment benefits after the TWC locked his account in April.
Bonewitz recently lost his job because of the economic impact of the pandemic.
He got a letter on April 30 telling him the identity verification hold on his claim was unlocked after he went through the ID.me verification process.
Bonewitz agreed to meet us in an Austin hardware stores parking lot. He came armed with every document related to his unemployment claim, including the letter telling him to verify his identity.
They want their response as soon as possible by 5/5, which, I mean, I did it within 24 hours of notification, Bonewitz said. He also had to participate in a live video feed to prove he was not a fraudster.
Nearly a month later, he never got a response from the TWC.
Its very frustrating. Its ruining my credit Im increasing my credit cards. I didnt ask to be unemployed, he said. My wife and I were planning to buy a house. We had a deposit down, we were pre-approved for a loan we just got thrown into the works.
Weve spoken with Texans whove waited longer than six weeks to have their fraud flags cleared by the TWC.
Bonewitz, an innocent Texan, is one of the lucky ones. The day after our interview, he got a notice from the TWC the fraud investigation into his claim was finished and his owed unemployment was deposited into his bank account.
What To Do If You Receive A Debit Card Or Check
If you received a debit card or check payment for an unemployment benefits claim that you did not file, you should report the ID theft claim on TWCs online portal.
If you received a debit card from US Bank for an unemployment claim you did not file, you should destroy the card. Do not activate the debit card account.
If you received a check for a claim you did not file, you should return the check to TWC, along with an explanation as to why the check is being returned. See example explanation below:
I am returning this check to TWC because I did not file the claim for unemployment benefits. Full name on the claim: < insert full name shown on the claim>
Social Security number on the claim: < insert full SSN or the last 4 digits of the SSN>
Return checks to:
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Unemployment Filing Issues Continue Identity Verification Process Is Slowing Up Some
WXMI We are continuing to hear from people who are running into issues while filing for unemployment.
Right now many people are having problems getting their identity verified and without being able to get a hold of anyone on the phone to help address it, they are now going several weeks without an income.
I’ve been working since i was 18. The one time I actually need the help, because the state is shutdown is something entirely out of my control. I can’t get help, Montcalm County Resident Tim VanBlaricum said.
VanBlaricum was laid-off from work in March, he first filed for unemployment that night, but since early April hes been having trouble getting hold of anyone.
As you can see Ive called over 150 times, VanBlaricum said while showing his phone log.
In the mail I received something saying that they had trouble verify my identity. So then I sent them email correspondence, off of their website on their little link I added a picture of my social security card and my ID like they asked for and I’ve been trying to get ahold of them ever since, he added.
Tim has now gone three weeks without an income, he hasnt been able to get any update since sending in pictures of his license and social security card.
Spending hours on the phone line and according to him almost 18 hours one night trying to log on the live chat feature, that continued to crash.
Sheard says her case is listed as open due to non-monetary issues.
Note: You Must Continue To File Your Weekly Claim Applications While Your Identity Is Verified
Provide Proof of Identity
For proof of identity, you must provide a minimum of two items:
- A copy of a government-issued identification document that includes your Social Security Number
- EX: Social Security Card
- If Social Security Card is not available, see “Approved Documents with SSN” below for instructions.
AND a copy of one of the following identity documents:
Driver’s License, a state issued ID, or Military ID
- Drivers license or ID card issued by a State or outlying possession of the U.S.
- ID card issued by federal, state, or local government agencies or entities, provided it contains information
- U.S. Military card or draft record
- Active Duty, Retiree or Reservist military ID card
- Discharge papers
- Military dependents ID card
- U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
- Native American tribal record
- American Department of Indian Affairs Tribal Card
- Canadian Department of Indian Affairs issued ID card
Passport or Passport Card
- U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Must contain Document Number, USCIS/INS Registration Number
Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Card
- Permanent Resident Card I-551
- Must contain Alien/USCIS Number, and Card Number
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How Long Does The Trusted Referee Video Call Take
Depending on the number of claimants attempting to verify their identity, the Virtual In-Person wait time can vary however, once you jointhe video call session with an ID.me Trusted Referee, the verification process should take 15 minutes or less.
What About My Privacy
Well state governments do not care about your privacy to the same degree they care about securing billions of taxpayer dollars in light of rampant unemployment fraud across the entire country. In many cases unemployment fraudsters are cheating systems in states they do not even live in, by picking off the states with the weakest security measures.
In 2019 the ID.me company was issued a patent for real time online identity verification system. It seems with its rather prolific growth to nine states for their unemployment insurance benefit systems identity verification that it will be only a matter of time before every State in America and Federal territory will become a user of this system. Especially with the massive scale of unemployment fraud that has been tallied in 2020 as being at least $30 billion which was helped in part by the Pandemic Assistance $600 weekly benefit payments. Which turned even low dollar payment level weekly unemployment benefit states into attractive fraud targets. If that wasnt enough of a reason, the duration of a patent runs for fifteen years, and up to 20 from the initial filing date with the US Patent and Trademark Office . Other companies could theoretically patent a similar process but with first mover advantage it seems unlikely that ID.me wouldnt create the next best service on its own.
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How Much Unemployment Fraud Is Actually Being Captured By This System
According to the founder and CEO of ID.mes recent tweet storm it is approximately catching 2 to 3% of all pending unemployment payouts as fraud.
s selfie step that matches a live selfie to the photo on a Government ID prevented criminals from stealing the identity of tens of thousands of Americans over the last 10 months. We see masks like these on 2 2.5% of all attempts at workforce agencies.
Even posting screen captures of fraudsters looking for tips to out smart the ID.me system.
To verify your identity you need to provide some combination of the following pieces of identification.
id.me identity verification help careerpurgatory
What Is A Trusted Referee Video Call
If your self-service identity verification attempt was unsuccessful, you can verify your identity on a recorded video call with a Trusted Referee instead. This process consists of a short video call with a trained ID.me employee where you present acceptable documentation to verify your identity.
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How To Report Unemployment Fraud In Texas Workforce Commission
In most cases, we stop the fraud before a single dollar in benefits are paid out. If you have information that an unemployment claim was filed using a stolen identity, you should report the ID theft claim on TWCs online portal. We recommend using the secure online portal to report any suspected ID theft claim.
Top 9 Document Rejection Errors
Individuals must upload the required documents per the instructions to pass video chat verification. To save you time getting verified, we have created a list of the most common errors we see with document upload.
1. Document Error One: Same Document Uploaded Twice If you upload the same ID card such as a drivers license as both a federal and a state ID, your documents will fail inspection. You must upload a separate document for each category in order to pass this step.
2. Document Error Two: Ineligible Secondary Document Make sure the document isnt damaged and illegible. You also need to make sure that a statement or bill was issued within the last 90 days. The address and name must match the other documents and your information.
3. Document Error Three: Ineligible Primary DocumentThe Primary Document, like a Drivers License, must be legible and match the identity submitted. Make sure the document isnt expired. If it is expired, check if the date falls within an expiration extension granted by the state.
4. Document Error Four: Image Does Not Match Document Selected Users who submit documents that dont match an accepted type will have their documents rejected. Examples include uploading an image of a Military ID, which is prohibited by federal law, or an EBT card.
5. Document Error Five: Document Uploaded is a Photocopy Users who submit a scan or screenshot of a document will have their document rejected. Make sure you take a picture of the original document.
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