Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary
Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 15, 2018
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce
#AccountableGov: UI Report Shows Dramatic Decline in UI Fraud, Trust Fund Balance of Nearly $1.5 Billion
Percent of UI benefits obtained fraudulently declines by 42%, total benefit payments decline 11%
MADISON – Today, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the release of the 2017 report on Wisconsin's Unemployment Insurance (UI) program integrity efforts and state of the UI Trust Fund. The report includes statistics on the efforts of the department to detect and prevent fraud as well as efforts to recover benefits obtained fraudulently and ensure an even playing field for Wisconsin employers by ensuring that workers are classified properly as employees or independent contractors.
"In Wisconsin, program integrity is of the utmost importance. We have a duty to ensure that programs like the UI program are administered effectively and efficiently, and are relied upon by those who are eligible for the program when they experience a job separation due to no fault of their own and while they actively seek new employment," DWD Secretary Allen said. "Reports like these exemplify the efforts of this administration to root out fraud against government programs, and I would like to thank the members of the Wisconsin State Legislature, the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council and our dedicated staff for their efforts to ensure the program is accountable to the Wisconsin taxpayers."
Highlights of the report include:
- The Wisconsin UI Trust Fund ended 2017 with a balance of nearly $1.5 billion and increased $313 million over the year.
- Total UI benefits declined by 11 percent, while the amount of benefits obtained fraudulently declined by 42 percent when compared to the previous year.
- DWD's UI Division conducted 33,589 work search audits, more than double the previous year. Inadequate work search actions were identified in 22 percent of work search audits.
- Worker Misclassification investigations and subsequent audits identified 6,230 misclassified workers, which generated nearly $1.4 million in additional UI taxes, interest and associated penalties.
- Nearly 98 percent of UI claimants who were required to register on the state's JobCenterofWisconsin.com website did so as required, taking the first step toward finding a new, rewarding career and demonstrating the department's commitment to ensure that everyone who needs a job has the resources to find a job.