Part 7: Fraud and Quality Control
Failure to report information that affects your eligibility for unemployment benefits may be an act of fraud. Falsely reporting any information on your initial claim application or weekly claim certifications may also be an act of fraud. The penalties for fraud and concealment are severe. They include:
- Benefit Forfeiture - concealment in week 42/12 and earlier - Loss of future UI benefits from 1, 3 or 5 times your weekly benefit rate for each week of fraud or act of concealment.
- Benefit Reduction – concealment in week 43/12 and later – loss of future UI benefits from 2, 4 or 8 times your weekly benefit rate for each week of fraud or concealment. In addition, you will be assessed a penalty (15% of the benefits erroneously paid to you) which you are required to pay out of pocket.
- You will be told the amount of the forfeiture/benefit reduction penalty on a written determination (Form UCB-20) and the forfeiture/benefit reduction amount will remain in effect for weeks that become payable within 6 years after the date of the determination.
- Court Fines - not less than $100 or more than $500 for each week of fraud (and a criminal record).
- Jail - up to 90 days for each week of fraud (and a criminal record).
In addition to penalties, you must also repay any overpaid benefits.
Multiple detection systems are used to detect people who fail to report working and earning wages while claiming unemployment benefits. To avoid an overpayment and possible penalties, report your wages in the week the work is performed and the wages are earned.
If you are paid more UI benefits than you are eligible to receive for any week(s), you will be notified in writing that you have been overpaid. The amount of the overpayment will be automatically deducted from any later UI payment(s) that are payable to you. If there are no later benefits payable or there is still an outstanding overpayment amount after later UI payment(s) are withheld, you will be responsible to repay the balance of the overpayment.
Quality Control Program
The purpose of the Quality Control Program is to detect and reduce error and fraud in the UI program. The records of a sample group of claimants, selected each week at random, are audited by Quality Control staff. We use the information from the audit to test the accuracy of and improve the UI program.
If selected, failure to meet with the investigator and provide complete and accurate information on the questionnaire will result in the suspension of benefits until you do so.