Feds launch tool to fight unemployment insurance fraud

The U.S. Department of Labor is introducing new tools to help state agencies detect, prevent and recover improper unemployment insurance payments while fighting UI fraud.

The "Fraud Tips and Leads Gateway" is designed to provide the public with a means to report fraud and help states act quickly to investigate tips and leads as well as prosecute fraudulent actions. The DOL is also publishing materials, which it believes to be consumer friendly, addressing the most common mistakes that claimants make and what employers can do to circumvent the negative tax implications of improper payments. The DOL is also partnering with states and through the work force system to exhibit these materials in public areas and post them online.

"Reducing improper unemployment insurance payments is crucial to maintaining the integrity of this vital lifeline for millions of American families, and we each have a role to play," says Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Too many people don't know their responsibilities under the program, and too many businesses don't know what's at stake for them, especially the tax implications. The tools announced today will help educate consumers and businesses and ultimately improve the UI system."

In the coming weeks, the DOL plans to reach out through multiple social media outlets to provide UI claimants with advice on learning more about their local One-Stop Career Centers, connect with state job banks and avoid mistakes that can lead to improper payments. These resources are connected to an ongoing effort to help states reduce their improper payment rates. The DOL created a new landing page in September that allows visitors to identify improper payment rates for all states and offers tips to cut these payments. Additionally, the DOL is making available $192 million in grant funds to improve the UI system and implement waste-cutting initiatives.

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