Unemployment Insurance Benefit Payment Integrity
November 20, 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13520. The purpose of this
order is to reduce improper payments by intensifying efforts to eliminate payment
error, waste, fraud, and abuse in the major programs administered by the Federal Government,
while continuing to ensure that Federal programs serve and provide access to their
intended beneficiaries. The order adopts a comprehensive set of policies, including
transparency and public scrutiny of significant payment errors throughout the Federal
Emphasize Reducing Overpayment and Fraud: The Impact on Employers
state unemployment agencies require complete details be provided at the initial level
of the unemployment claim. States no longer tolerate insufficient details with the
initial claim response, in part because of the focus on reducing unemployment overpayments
to claimants and fraud. From the State’s perspective, the employer and claimant are
the knowledgeable parties and should have the facts at hand; therefore, the state
looks to the employer for professional and complete information on a separation. When
an employer fails to provide complete supporting separation information the state
must rely on the available information provided to them to make a determination of
for Employers Supplying Late or Insufficient Information
states are applying monetary penalties and/or penalties that could remove an employer’s
rights to pursue the claim further. In addition, some states are penalizing the employer
for insufficient or inaccurate responses at the claim level. This climate is ever-changing
and due to demands made to increase efficiencies and reduce costs, several states
are anticipated to follow suit by the end of the calendar year.
should not be the only incentive to provide separation information up front. It is
good business practice to provide all the separation information, details and documents
with the initial claim response for a number of reasons including:
or mitigating the appeals and hearings process, saving time and money for both the
State and the employer.
good rapport with the state and being a good steward of best practices. Having proper
documentation readily available is good business practice for employers and the documentation
may be needed in other areas than unemployment like Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Require Detailed, Accurate Information to Make an Accurate Determination
states penalize the employer for insufficient responses. Sufficiency is defined as
information that is timely, provides complete details, and includes supporting documentation.
States will frequently indicate in their determination that the “protest of the claim
was not timely” when they mean “sufficient” information was not received timely.
will focus on the final incident that initiated the claimant’s separation and they
need supporting documentation to understand the complete picture. Employers should
supply copies of: written warnings, company policies, resignation letters, admission
statements, and any other documents that support the reason for separation and substantiate
“the burden of proof.” A reason for separation alone is not sufficient.
States Typically Require:
and date of the final incident that caused the separation
of the events that led to the final incident
knew his job was in jeopardy
received warnings and knew the consequences of further incidents
the claimant’s actions were intentional (not beyond his/her control).
letter in the event of a voluntary termination
Penalties States Impose:
of appeal rights
of non-charge rights: In cases where the claimant is later ruled ineligible to receive
unemployment benefits, employers lose their protection and can be charged for that
penalties: This could include charging the employer’s account for overpayments made
or assessing a flat monetary amount.
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.
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