We recently shared information on how to avoid falling prey to the recent uptick in unemployment compensation fraud. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has provided these additional tips to protect yourself and your employees from identity thieves and hackers.
‘When an employer responds to the notice of claim filed, the Department does not need any of the person’s real employment information for identity theft situations. They are just looking for a response that tells them the claim is fraudulent and should not have been opened. The fields do not need to be completed unless the system requires it (like start & end date, termination date), and when that happens, you can just enter the current date. Do not spend time researching actual hire dates because this is not a real claim.
The one field you should accurately complete is the reason for separation. For identity theft claims, you should enter the reason for separation as “Still working full-time.” When the system receives the response, it will create an issue on the claim which will prevent payment if it is not already being prevented by some other reason.’
Here are the steps to submit your responses via the new benefits system:
- From the Unemployment Services widget, click “More Unemployment Services” and then the “Notice of Separation” link.
- Choose the Claimants tab.
- After locating the individual for whom you wish to report, click on the “Needs Response” link.
If you are not able to log into the new benefits system, enroll here, or respond using SIDES e-response: Reporting Fraud – SIDES
If you are unable to log in to the system, simply respond via the hard copy of your paperwork by writing “fraudulent claim” across the front of the form and mailing it to the department.
If you have hired a Third-Party Administrator (TPA) to care for your unemployment claims, disregard any Notices of Application because the TPA will be handling these for you.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has also advised the following:
- “Appealing the financial determination is not the appropriate way to report a fraudulent claim to us, and it’s inundating our monetary appeals staff. Please do not appeal these determinations; use the above steps to report the fraud to us.”
- “As the employer, you should simply respond to the claim notices but not also file a fraud report using our website’s “Report Fraud” link. The individual affected should use the “Report Fraud” link to file a report.”
- “If a payment has already been made on that claim, payments will continue every other week until a staff member is able to deny the claim. Ultimately, you will not be charged for benefits paid to fraudulent, identity theft-related claims. Once benefits are denied, an overpayment will be set up, which credits your account.”
- “Reporting the same claims multiple times is tying up resources. For as many of these false claims as you are receiving, we are receiving much more. Please do not duplicate your report to us no matter how long it has been since you first reported it.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has additional resources concerning unemployment compensation fraud that you can access here. Forms can also be completed over the phone by calling the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Fraud Hotline at 800-692-7469.
If we can be of any assistance, please contact us online or call 215-723-4881.