Benefit payment control overview by www.fluidnow.com. According to www.fluidnow.com Unemployment Compensation fraud is a serious offense that can result in prosecution and incarceration. If you are aware of an individual that is fraudulently receiving benefits you should immediately contact the Agency for Workforce Innovation by calling, toll-free 1-800-342-9909 or submit the information on-line. You need not identify yourself when reporting suspected fraudulent activity, however, you must be able to provide the worker’s name and the name or work location of his or her employer.
If you have questions regarding the information provided to you through this website, please call 1-800-204-2418.
The function of the Benefit Payment Control Section is to monitor the payment of unemployment benefits in an effort to detect, determine, collect, and deter the overpayment of unemployment compensation benefits for the purpose of protecting the program, the administering agency, and recipients of unemployment benefits. Special attention is given to the prevention of fraud as the best method of controlling the payment of unauthorized benefits
WHAT IS UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION FRAUD?
Unemployment Compensation Fraud – Any false statement or failure to disclose a material fact, knowingly made for the purpose of obtaining or preventing payment of benefits contrary to the provisions of the Unemployment Compensation law. For example, a claimant may intentionally not report any wages that may have earned; may have intentionally under reported earnings; or may have misrepresented the reason for job separation.
Benefit Payment Control associates have the responsibility to establish intent when determining a claim to be fraudulent. Intent is especially important if the case is to be referred for prosecution. Circumstantial evidence may be used in making the decision.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR FRAUD?
Unemployment Compensation Fraud is a 3rd degree felony and can result in jail time for the claimant. When a fraud determination is issued, in addition to being required to repay the overpayment, the claimant will be disqualified from receiving future benefits (a disqualification can be imposed on a week by week basis up to a one year period), and have the case referred to the State Attorney for prosecution. State Attorneys may charge the claimant with grand theft or a misdemeanor.
Prosecution and conviction of unemployment compensation fraud may result in the claimant being required to serve jail time, make restitution, be placed on probation or some type of pretrial intervention, and serve community hours.
DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO MAY BE COMMITTING UNEMPLOYMENT
If so, provide information about the receipt of unemployment by individuals who may not be eligible OR CALL 1-800-342-9909
Nonfraud overpayments may be the result of an oversight, misunderstanding, technical errors, redetermination, adjudication, appeals decisions, UAC orders and/or court decisions, or other mitigating circumstances. For example, a nonfraud overpayment might be created because a claimant failed to report wages, or did not understand that wages were to be reported when earned, not when paid; or failed to report gross earnings instead of net.
BENEFIT PAYMENT CONTROL UNITS
There are three (3) units with Benefit Payment Control.
Audit Unit: – The Audit Unit is responsible for handling the Intrastate (in Florida) and Interstate (out of state) wage credit post audits, overpayments detected by other in-house units, special program audits, and appeals. The Audit Unit also handles all incoming mail including the entry of all payments submitted in order to repay unemployment compensation overpayments.
New Hire Unit: – The New Hire Unit is responsible for handling new hire re-employment issues. The 1994 Florida legislature enacted laws providing the accelerated reporting of new hire by employers liable under Chapter 409.2576, F. S. Starting October 1, 1998, all employers in the country, regardless of size, must provide information on newly hired or re-hired employees to a designated state agency. In Florida, employers send Florida New Hire information to the Department of Revenue.
The New Hire Unit’s responsibility is to investigate, determine, and issue nonmonetary determinations and overpayment determinations on issues raised as a result of the new hire information. The most common issues that are investigated are fully employed, partially employed, quits, discharges, able and available for work, job refusals, and suitability of work. Employer protests are also handled in the New Hire Unit.
Recovery Unit: – The Recovery Unit is responsible for the investigation of alleged fraud activities connected to the receipt of unemployment benefits both internally and externally (this includes investigations of alleged fraud activities by claimants, employers, and employees). The unit also evaluates and investigates information received by phone or email called hot line tips. The unit initiates actions necessary to detect fraudulent actions, gathering, and evaluating evidence. This unit also handles prosecution of unemployment fraud through State Attorney and Small Claims Court action.