FRAUD – A $45.6 Billion Problem
Last week, the Department of Labor announced that $45.6 billion in fraudulent unemployment benefits have been paid out since March 2020. Some fraud is easy to spot. For example, the bad actors flagrantly used email domains such as @stealmoney.com or @IllNeverGetCaught.com on their claims. Checking records to see if an individual is incarcerated or deceased can help stop a fraud claim before it is paid. While the number of fraud cases continue to drop due to the efforts at the state and federal levels to weed out the suspicious actors, we aren’t letting our guard down yet. It is important to continue to investigate each claim received and if the individual is still working, verify with them if they filed for unemployment benefits. If they have not, please let Thomas & Company know this is a potential identity theft claim so it can be reported to the appropriate state workforce agency for investigation.
COLORADO – Fact-Finding Questionnaires for Active Employees
In a recent newsletter from the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment (CDLE), they mentioned that they are “monitoring an increase in scam attempts on active and former UI claimants.” If you receive a fact-finding questionnaire from Thomas & Company for an employee who still works for you, for someone who has never worked for you, or if the name and SSN on the questionnaire do not match your records, this may be a fraudulent claim. Please report these as potential fraud to your T&C Analyst and we will make sure to report these as fraud to CDLE on your behalf.
ILLINOIS – Outstanding Federal Balance Reduced
During the pandemic, the State of Illinois borrowed $4.5 billion to keep the state trust fund afloat. This week, Governor Pritzker announced that the state would be making a $450 million payment to further reduce the outstanding balance of $1.8 billion, reducing the balance by approximately 25%. The Governor has plans to further reduce the outstanding debt by year end. The final FUTA credit reduction for 2022 will not be determined until November 10; however, a potential credit reduction of 0.3% (or an additional $21 in FUTA tax per employee) would apply if these balances remain outstanding.