Unemployment Insurance Fraud and Consequences in Georgia
Georgia unemployment insurance fraud affects the Georgia Department of Labor (DOL) and its resources. When UI fraud in GA is committed, the federal funds provided to assist with state unemployment compensation are put in jeopardy and are used for residents who do not need the help. Residents can learn about the types of unemployment benefits fraud and how to identify when fraud is occurring so as to report suspicious incidents to the DOL. Unemployment insurance fraud penalties are enforced for fraudulent applicants and beneficiaries to ensure they do not attempt to receive benefits they are not entitled to again. Residents who know how to report unemployment insurance fraud can assist the DOL in enforcing legitimate unemployment compensation claims and refuting fraudulent claims. A strict penalty for unemployment fraud in Georgia is enforced because fraudulent claims take away funds from deserving and needy unemployed residents. To learn how to report someone committing unemployment insurance fraud, the types of fraud committed and the penalties for committing fraud, read through the following information.
What is Georgia unemployment insurance fraud?
Georgia UI fraud occurs when an unemployment insurance recipient is not entirely truthful on an application or when re-certifying to continue receiving benefits. Unemployment benefits fraud is also committed if a beneficiary fails to communicate with the DOL about changes to income or characteristics that may affect his or her eligibility with the UI program. When unemployment insurance fraud is committed, a beneficiary is receiving unemployment compensation for which he or she is not qualified. A few common examples of unemployment insurance benefit fraud in GA include:
- Not reporting income or cash paid “under the table” while receiving benefits.
- Receiving benefits while being incarcerated.
- Accepting benefits while being unavailable for work and not actively seeking work.
- Refusing a job offer for an invalid reason and failing to notify the DOL.
- Failing a pre-employment Drug Screening Test and failing to notify the DOL.
Residents should learn how to report unemployment insurance fraud so that if they suspect a beneficiary has made a false statement, provided information to the DOL that is untrue or withheld important information with the intention of falsely maintaining program eligibility or erroneously receiving additional compensation, then they can alert the DOL. When unemployment benefits fraud is committed, the beneficiary is breaking the law and stealing employers’ tax dollars from deserving and needy unemployed residents. To learn about additional types of Georgia UI fraud, download our free and informative online guide.
Georgia Unemployment Insurance Fraud Penalties
A penalty for unemployment fraud is issued to a fraudulent beneficiary after he or she is reported and an investigation is completed by the DOL. Since committing Georgia UI fraud is against the law, the penalties may be issued by a judge in court and can include fines, probation or time in jail. In addition to unemployment insurance fraud penalties issued by the court system after a trial, a fraudulent beneficiary is also banned from receiving unemployment compensation after being found guilty of fraud. This penalty for unemployment fraud may vary depending on the type of fraud committed and the amount of compensation falsely accepted. Residents who make fraudulent UI claims in GA can lose their right to unemployment compensation for up to 15 months after being convicted of providing false statements or knowingly accepting benefits they were not entitled to. After residents learn how to complete an unemployment fraud report and the beneficiary is found guilty, the recipient of benefits is responsible for paying back the falsely-issued credit to the DOL. When UI fraud is committed, the accused may also be responsible for paying an additional 15 percent of the benefits awarded.
How to Report Unemployment Insurance Fraud in Georgia
If a resident suspects that unemployment insurance fraud in Georgia is being committed by a beneficiary or applicant, then he or she should report the claim as soon as possible to the DOL. UI fraud can easily be reported online through the DOL by using a quick and simple online reporting form. To complete the unemployment benefits fraud reporting form, the resident must choose the type of fraud he or she suspects is being committed, the name of the suspect, the suspect’s contact information and the last four digits of the suspect’s Social Security Number, if known. When reporting unemployment insurance fraud, the reporter can choose the type of fraud as follows:
- Misclassifying employment status and current work obtained.
- Using someone else’s Social Security Number and identity to claim UI benefits.
- Refusing a job or employment interview.
- Accepting employment but failing to notify the DOL.
- Refusing a pre-employment drug test or failing the test.
The unemployment fraud online reporting form also asks the reporter for a brief explanation of why he or she thinks the beneficiary is committing fraud. To report someone committing unemployment insurance fraud online, the reporter can provide his or her name and contact information for further inquiries. However, such information is not required to submit the online form to the DOL. After the UI fraud online reporting form is submitted, the DOL investigates the claim and may charge the beneficiary with fraud if details are confirmed.
The Georgia unemployment insurance fraud reporting form can also be printed, completed and mailed or faxed to the DOL to report potential fraud. UI fraud that involves identity theft, the refusal of work or a job interview and the refusal or failure of a pre-employment drug test require the use of different types of claim reporting forms. To learn more about how to report unemployment insurance fraud in Georgia and the forms used, download our informative and detailed free guide.