by Craig Wolfson, Esq.
Unemployment fraud in New York and throughout the nation has reached dramatically high levels during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the last year, the Federal Department of Labor estimates that over $63 billion dollars has been improperly paid out due to fraud.
In 2020, approximately $550 billion was spent on unemployment aid for those out of work, compared to an average of $32 billion over the last five years. Many states have struggled to keep up with this extraordinary unemployment demand. They are faced with an overwhelming number of claims, new and everchanging rules and statutes, and outdated computer systems.
Everyone should be on alert for unemployment fraud. In most cases, individuals do not know that they are victims of unemployment fraud until it is too late. The unemployment fraud is typically discovered by the victim when they receive benefits–related paperwork in the mail, are alerted via a call from their employer, or when they make a legitimate claim for unemployment which is denied.
Many people are only discovering now in the heart of tax season that they are victims of unemployment fraud. States are required to provide a 1099-G form which reports income from unemployment benefits. Victims are receiving these forms in the mail, and ofttimes from multiple states. In other cases, victims are learning about the fraud after they file their federal income taxes, and are contacted by the IRS because they did not report all of their income due to the bogus claim.
To protect yourself and your family from unemployment fraud, you should be extra vigilant regarding any suspicious calls, mailings, emails, or social media requests. These may be attempts to gather personal information to help a criminal file a false claim. Alternatively, this may be evidence of an ongoing fraud. Be especially cautious about any correspondence promising early or fast unemployment benefits, or any requests for personal information to open a new account in your name.
Should you find yourself a victim of unemployment fraud, there are several steps you should take. The fraud should be reported to the unemployment office of each state where you were a victim. You are urged to promptly advise your employer or former employer. There are other Federal and local departments/agencies to alert as well. You are encouraged to monitor your credit reports, update your passwords, utilize two factor authentication, and file your taxes as soon as possible.
Wolfson and Klein-Wolfson, PLLC, a Syosset, New York law practice, can assist with you with managing unemployment fraud matters. We handle all types of labor and employment law cases for both employees and employers, and can help you navigate the stressful process of unemployment fraud.
Sexual Harassment Policy
New York Sexual Harassment If you have been following New York political news in recent days, you are certainly aware that sexual harassment is a hot topic. New York employers should be familiar with both the necessity of having a Sexual Harassment Policy, and the...
Estate Planning – You Are Not Too Young
Estate Planning - You are not Too Young Someone once told me, the more you have, the more you have to lose. I recently asked my nephew if he had any friends who needed a will. He said he only knew young people that probably wouldn’t consider writing a will right...
Estate Planning – Protecting your Digital Assets
Protecting your Digital Assets These days we live most of our lives on the internet. We manage our banking and finances, shop for all of our needs, attend school, listen to music, visit with friends...Estate Planning – Protecting your Digital AssetsThese days we live...
2021 HR Advice from the HR Lancers
EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS "It is really important that employers are reviewing and updating their employee handbooks on a yearly basis. Laws, rules and regulations are frequently changing, and company's need to make sure that they are staying current at all times. A review...
Hostile Work Environment in New York
10 Steps to take if you have a Hostile Work Environment in New York A hostile work environment is discriminatory harassment in the workplace that is prohibited under federal, New York State, and local laws.A hostile work environment is discriminatory harassment in the...
Top 5 Reasons to update your Employee Handbook
The beginning of the year is a great time to take a fresh look at your employee handbook, and make any necessary additions or changes to your existing handbook.
Labor Law Posters
Best Practices: Update your Labor Law Posters As 2020 comes to a close, New York employers should review their labor law posters to make sure that they are current for both New York and Federal notices.As 2020 comes to a close, New York employers should review their...
Reasonable Accommodations Reasonable Accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) . The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life,...
New York State Paid Sick Leave Law Overview
New York State Paid Sick Leave Law A new law that Employers, Human Resources, Payroll Departments and Employees need to know. On April 3rd, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed legislation enacting the New York State Paid Sick Leave Law. That announcement faded to the...