Information on UI Fraud
Unemployment Insurance (UI) fraud and abuse is a crime. It drives up UI taxes for businesses, and causes frustration for law-abiding workers. Individuals who commit fraud are subject to penalties and/or criminal prosecution. You may be guilty of fraud if you hold back information from or provide false information to the Unemployment Insurance Division. Any incorrect information about your work status or details in your application can be construed as misrepresentation of facts to commit unemployment fraud. Individuals who knowingly collect unemployment benefits based on false or inaccurate information provided by them when filing their claim or while receiving benefits, are committing fraud!
The Hawaii Unemployment Insurance Division has a variety of methods to track new hire reports nation wide and whether UI benefits are being paid properly and accurately. Employers are required to report new hires to the state and national agencies which are crossmatched against benefit payment records to detected unreported employment. Employers are also contacted to confirm reasons for job separation. All Hawaiiemployers report names, social security numbers and earnings of all their employees to the Unemployment Insurance Division, as required by law. The Unemployment Insurance Division uses the wage information to find out if anyone worked while claiming benefits and whether wages were earned in other states. The result of these activities is that any unreported employment will be detected.
The UI Division also verifies that telephone numbers and/or internet IP addresses used to file claims remotely are received from the area in which the claim is assigned.
Types of Fraud and Abuse:
- An individual receiving UI benefits but not reporting they are working and being paid cash “under the table”.
- An individual receiving UI benefits and not reporting their earnings.
- An individual receiving UI benefits but not able or available to seek or accept work due to illness, injury, out of town, on vacation, etc.
- An individual receiving UI benefits but not looking for work or falsifying their work search efforts.
- An individual holding back information or giving false information regarding the reason for job separation.
- An individual filing a fraudulent UI claim and/or receiving UI benefits using another person’s identity (e.g., name, social security number).
- An individual receiving UI benefits refuses an offer of employment or fails to report to work after accepting an offer of employment and does not report it.
- An individual receiving UI benefits at the same time they are incarcerated.
Individuals who commit UI fraud could face a variety of serious penalties including:
- Repaying the UI benefits collected, plus penalties
- Possible jail or prison sentences
- Garnishment of future wages
- Forfeiting future income tax refunds
- Losing the eligibility to receive UI benefits in the future
- Liens filed against property.
How to Report Fraud:
- If you suspect someone is fraudulently collecting unemployment benefits, please call (808) 586-8947. You will be asked for the person or business involved in committing fraud and a description of fraudulent activities.