Frequently Asked Questions About UI Benefit Fraud

How do I report unemployment fraud?
Information on reporting unemployment fraud can be found on the following web page:
What is considered unemployment fraud?
Whenever a claimant conceals or misrepresents any eligibility information that can effect benefits paid you have potential fraud. Read examples of fraud.
How do you find out about unemployment fraud?
The department has various means to detect fraud and abuse. A few include: auditing employer records, comparing benefit claims to payroll records in Wisconsin and other states, exchange of information between agencies, complaints from employers and tips from the public.
What can happen if you commit unemployment fraud?
Any benefits paid as a result of fraud must be paid back. Also, Wisconsin law provides for penalties and/or criminal prosecution for fraudulent claims.
What are the penalties and how do they work?
A claimant is assessed a benefit reduction penalty. This means the claimant is ineligible to receive an amount of future benefits for intentionally concealing information affecting Unemployment Insurance eligibility.

The benefit reduction penalty must be satisfied before any Unemployment Insurance benefits can be received. This penalty lasts six years from the date of the penalty determination. The benefit reduction is satisfied either by claiming benefits and being otherwise eligible for benefits during the six-year period until the amount is satisfied or the time limit runs out. Benefit reductions cannot be paid out-of-pocket.

A claimant is also assessed a penalty of 40% of the amount of overpaid benefits resulting from fraud. This penalty must be paid out-of-pocket – benefits will not be offset to satisfy this penalty.

Both penalties are in addition to the repayment of any benefits paid as a result of committing fraud.
When is someone prosecuted for unemployment fraud?
In cases involving repeat offenders and/or large overpayments, the department has the legal right to pursue criminal prosecution through the legal system. The department works with the appropriate District Attorney to get criminal charges filed against the offenders.

Criminal penalties are in addition to administrative forfeitures and include fines from $100 to $500 and imprisonment up to 90 days (or both) for each offense.
What is employer aiding and abetting?
An employing unit aids and abets a claimant when, they have knowledge that a claimant is submitting or intending to submit a false claim and the employer either (a) renders aid to the claimant who submits a false claim, or (b) is ready and willing to render aid, if needed, and the claimant who commits the concealment knows of the employing unit's willingness to aid in the concealment.
What happens to employers for aiding and abetting?
An employer determined to have aided and abetted a claimant in committing an act of concealment or misrepresentation is assessed an administrative penalty. The penalty equals the amount of the claimant overpayment. In addition, improperly paid benefits are charged against the employer found guilty of aiding and abetting even if the improperly paid benefits are recovered. Wisconsin law provides for the criminal prosecution of employees and employers participating in aiding and abetting to obtain benefits not due.
Do I have to report working on my weekly claim if I have not been paid yet?
Yes. All wages must be reported on your weekly claim certification for the week in which you worked, not in the week you are paid.
Do I have to report working if I am working for payment other than money?
Yes. The value of any kind of remuneration or payment must be reported in the week the payment is earned. Wages are every type of pay for work done, including room and board, cash payments, tips, commissions and "working off a bill".
How much can I earn before I have to report my wages?
Absolutely nothing. Any and all wages earned must be reported on your weekly claim while collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits.
I have an overpayment. Where do I send my payments?
Mail your payment to: Unemployment Collections, PO Box 7888, Madison, WI 53707.

Be sure to include your social security number with all correspondence.
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