What is fraud?

Fraud is making false statements or failing to give the facts on an unemployment benefit claim. The Idaho Department of Labor will find fraud through employer reports and other methods. We will investigate if you fail to report work or wages for a week in which you collect benefits.

All claims may be reviewed at random. If your claim is chosen for an audit, an auditor will contact you to go over your claim. The auditor will also contact your past employers to check your wages and the reason you became unemployed. We must make sure that only eligible claimants get benefits and that payments are for the right amount.

If you are audited, you must respond promptly. You must be able to give more information as needed or you may be charged for overpayment and fraud.

What are some examples of fraud?

  • Filing for unemployment benefits when you are fully employed.
  • Willfully misstating the reason for your job loss.
  • Reporting false or incomplete information on your weekly certification.
  • Failing to tell Idaho Labor when you quit, are fired or refuse work.
  • Failing to seek work when required.
  • Letting someone else use your account information to get benefits.
  • Making false statements in an interview about your claim.
  • Knowingly lying on any of the forms or pages you fill out for your claim.

What are the penalties for fraud?

Claimants who commit fraud will be charged. You will have to repay your benefit overpayments, including penalties and interest. You may also face felony charges. If you commit fraud, you’ll have to wait 52 weeks and repay your total amount before you can get benefits again.

The penalty amounts for fraud are as follows:

  • First offense: 25% of the overpayment amount.
  • Second offense: 50% of the overpayment amount.
  • Third (or more) offense: 100% of the overpayment amount.

Example: You lied on your weekly certification about working 40 hours and you got an overpayment of $100 from Idaho Labor. Now, you must pay back that $100 plus $25 and interest.

What can I do to avoid committing fraud?

Avoid the pitfalls that lead to fraud:

  • Actively seek work and report your contacts each week. Actively seeking work means you contact employers who hire people with your job skills. If you can’t find these employers, you must look for other work you can do. You also must be willing to accept part-time work while waiting for full-time work.
  • Truthfully report your weekly earnings while collecting benefits. If you work a temporary or part-time job while getting unemployment insurance benefits, you must report the wages you earn each week. Your benefits are based on your earnings.
  • Stop collecting benefits after returning to full-time work. You are no longer eligible to collect benefits. Continuing to collect benefits could lead to fines and criminal charges.
  • Be honest about your ability and availability while collecting benefits. You must be willing and able to accept work in your field. If you limit the shifts and days you work or the distance you will travel for work, you may be denied benefits. If you can’t work because of an illness, injury, medical condition or imprisonment contact us at (208) 332-8942.
  • Don’t use someone else’s information to get benefits. Stealing another person’s identity to collect benefits is a felony. You will face criminal charges if you commit identity theft.
  • Don’t collect benefits while on vacation. You must honestly report when and why you left your local labor market. You will be denied benefits if you leave your area for a vacation. You can leave the area if you are doing so to look for work, but you must report your work search contacts.
  • Don’t help someone else file a false claim. Filing a false unemployment claim will result in fines and criminal charges. The same penalties apply for helping someone file a false claim.
  • Tell us if you refuse work, quit or are fired from a job while collecting benefits. You must report the above on your weekly certification. We will contact you and the employer to decide your eligibility for benefits.
  • Don’t share your login information. Someone could use your login to commit fraud in your name. You are responsible for any activity that occurs with your login information.

What if I get a full-time job?

You can no longer claim benefits. Don’t claim benefits for any week you work full time — even if you haven’t been paid yet. If you are working full-time and continue to claim benefits, you could be taken to court. You don’t need to call Idaho Labor. Your claim will become inactive. If you need to apply for benefits again, reopen your claim during the week you stop working full time.

How do I report fraud?

If you suspect that someone is committing unemployment fraud, please report it. Contact us with details of the fraud and the person or business involved.

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