BUC - Fraud Information
Unemployment Insurance Fraud is a crime, and it affects everyone. It drives up unemployment taxes for businesses, and is frustrating and time-consuming to resolve problems. Individuals who commit fraud are subject to penalties, interest, and/or criminal prosecution. If you suspect someone is committing unemployment insurance fraud, please tell us about it.
Both benefit recipients and employers can avoid serious costs and consequences by learning more about their roles and responsibilities when it comes to providing required information for collecting benefits or reporting employee data.
Here are some common examples of fraud that may surprise you:
- You return to work but continue to collect UI benefits without reporting the work and wages to the EDD.
- You work a temporary or part-time job but do not report your earnings, so you are collecting more benefits than you are allowed.
- You withhold information or give false information when filing a claim or certifying for benefits.
- You pay your employees under the table and don’t report the wages to the bureau of unemployment insurance.
- You do not report when you hire new employees or you report incorrect start dates.
Overpayments can also result in higher taxes for employers whose annual contributions pay for unemployment benefits for their former workers. If you think someone is committing unemployment insurance fraud, it is important that you let us know about it. All allegations of fraud are taken seriously, and you can remain anonymous. Please note that the bureau will not disclose your identity unless required by law. If you wish to remain anonymous, DO NOT include your personal information.
The Bureau of Unemployment Insurance offers several options for reporting fraud such as: unemployment insurance or payroll tax fraud:
- Submit a Fraud Reporting Form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail the Fraud Reporting Form to 47 Statehouse Station, Augusta, ME 04333
- FAX: 207-287-8351
- Call 1-800-845-5808.
1. What is Unemployment Insurance Fraud?
Collecting Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits based on providing false, misreported, or unreported information is considered committing UI fraud. If you are filing a claim, reopening a claim, or certifying for UI benefits, you are legally responsible for making sure you follow the requirements set by state law. Examples of UI fraud could include:
You withhold information or give false information when filing a UI claim or certifying for benefits. If you commit UI fraud, then you could face a variety of serious penalties. These include:
2. How to Avoid Committing UI Fraud When Collecting Benefits
To avoid penalties for committing UI fraud:
1. Minimize employer UI costs
Employers can take an active role in reducing improper UI benefit payments by providing important information in a timely manner. Employers are required to:
2. Avoid higher UI taxes
Tax-rated employers are taxed based on the amount of UI benefits paid to former employees. Reimbursable employers must pay the full costs of the improper payment paid. Benefits are paid, or not paid, based on information provided by unemployed individuals seeking benefits and information provided by the employer. If information from employers and/or information requested by the Bureau is not received in a timely manner, benefits may be paid to unqualified individuals
Accurate and timely verification of employee weekly earnings, when requested, ensures that the correct amount of UI benefits is paid and that improper payments are detected and prevented.
3. Prevent overpayment of UI benefit payments
In Maine, UI benefits are funded by employer taxes. Improper payment of UI benefits may result in higher taxes to all employers. UI benefits allow qualified unemployed workers to continue to buy goods and services.
An improper payment of UI benefits means that a claim for benefits was paid in error. An improper payment of benefits can result when inaccurate information is provided by the claimant or employer, or when information is not received by the Maine Bureau of Employment Insurance in a timely manner. Once an improper payment is detected, the claimant is notified of an “overpayment.”
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