|The Fraud Investigations Unit investigates all UI fraud cases. The
majority of these cases involve the concealment of work and earnings.
However, cases may also include concealed separations from employment,
work refusals, non-availability for work, inability to work, incarceration,
unreported travel, false claims for dependent allowance, check forgeries,
perjury and identity theft. In some instances, fraud investigators
prepare cases for criminal prosecution.
What is UI
UI fraud occurs when a person makes a false statement or withholds
or misrepresents information in order to receive or increase Unemployment
What happens to claimants who commit UI Fraud?
All unemployment benefits paid during the week(s) in which fraudulent
information was submitted must be re-paid, along with a penalty
equal to 50% of the overpayment. Additionally, the individual will
be disqualified from receiving future benefits. The period of disqualification
is at least six weeks for each week affected by the false statements,
up to a maximum of 52 weeks.
Depending on the amount of the fraudulent overpayment the case
may be referred to the District Attorney or US Attorney for criminal
prosecution. At this level penalties could include imprisonment
and fines in addition to the administrative penalties and disqualification
How prevalent is UI fraud in Alaska?
Every year a portion of claimants commit fraud in order to receive UI benefits to which they are not entitled. In 2005, approximately 3% of the claimants who filed for benefits were denied for making fraudulent statements. The fraud unit detected overpayments totaling $3.1million dollars. Penalties of $1.5 million dollars were added to the overpayments as required by law.
How is UI fraud detected?
We have literally dozens of ways to identify claimants who commit
UI fraud. Most of our detection methods rely upon automated computer
programs such as the quarterly crossmatch of wage information submitted
by Alaska and out of state employers with the wage information provided
by claimants filing for benefits. Other information sources for
potential UI fraud cases are:
- New hire reports from employers
- Public tips by telephone, mail or internet
- Quality Control Audits
- Claim Center Referrals
- Cross-matches with other government records (i.e. Dept of Corrections
or Worker’s Compensation)
- Other investigative efforts
New strategies are being developed every day to identify claimants
who may be receiving unemployment benefits under fraudulent circumstances.
What’s the big deal? The UI benefits I collect
is my money anyway, I paid into it.
This is a common misconception by most claimants. Actually the
money used to pay Unemployment Insurance benefits is paid from the
Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The UI Trust fund is comprised
mostly of employer tax dollars. As employees, the maximum amount
of money you pay into the fund annually is approximately $230.00.
So, fraudulently collecting UI benefits is essentially the same
as stealing from Alaska employers and other Alaska employees.
Who do I contact if I suspect someone is committing
UI Investigators have offices in Anchorage (907-269-4880), Fairbanks
(907-451-2952), and Juneau (907-465-5968). Investigators may also
be contacted through the Benefit Payment Control Unit’s toll
free number (1-877-272-4635). You may also email at: