TWC Recovers $3.7 Million in Unemployment Insurance Fraud in 2013
AUSTIN, June 19, 2014 – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recovered $3.7 million in fraudulently obtained Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in Calendar Year 2013. TWC investigates cases in which UI benefits are obtained through fraud or deception and refers them to local district attorney offices. Examples of fraud include providing false information, and failing to report all work and earnings when filing claim certifications for benefits. These funds will be returned to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund from which TWC pays UI benefits to those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
In addition to restitution orders, individuals who commit UI fraud can be ordered to pay fines, perform hours of community service and some serve jail time. For a list of recent criminal dispositions listed by county, go to www.texasworkforce.org/ui/bnfts/prosecutiondispo.html.
Fifteen Harris County individuals were prosecuted for state UI fraud in 2013 and were ordered to pay a total of $164,099 in restitution.
“The Texas Workforce Commission is steadfast in its efforts to prevent and prosecute UI fraud,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “One of our top priorities is to safeguard the UI Trust Fund for the employers and workers of Texas.”
TWC’s Regulatory Integrity Division is charged with detecting and preventing fraud, waste and abuse. The division enforces all regulatory statutes within the jurisdiction of the agency, including Tax, Workforce, Trade Act, Skills Development, Self-Sufficiency, Child Care and all other programs that TWC administers. Prevention, detection and elimination of fraud, waste and abuse in the UI program are top priorities, ensuring that funds are available exclusively to those who meet the eligibility requirements.
TWC administers UI benefits to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and are actively seeking work. TWC regularly cross matches UI claims with employer wage reports and other databases to detect possible UI fraud. If TWC discovers that claimants have received UI benefits through fraudulent applications, the agency seeks immediate reimbursement of overpayments.
To report suspected UI fraud, call the TWC Fraud and Program Abuse Hotline at 800-252-3642.