Alabama Unemployment Fraud
Unemployment fraud is a significant issue in Alabama, with many individuals exploiting the system for personal gain. The Alabama Department of Labor has implemented several measures to detect and prevent fraud, and there are severe penalties in place for those caught committing fraud.
How to report Alabama unemployment fraud
Report Alabama fraud online: https://labor.alabama.gov/Fraud/BenefitFraud
Report Alabama fraud by phone: 800-392-8019
Report Alabama SSN unemployment identity theft: https://labor.alabama.gov/fraud/SSNFraud
What is Alabama unemployment fraud?
When applying for or certifying weekly claims for benefits, you must report all information accurately and truthfully. Failure to do so can be considered UI fraud and result in serious consequences.
Fraud can take many forms, including:
- Not reporting information that affects your eligibility for unemployment benefits
- Falsely reporting information on your Alabama unemployment application or weekly certifications
- Identity Theft: Using someone else’s identity to file an unemployment claim
- Claiming to be unemployed while still working or providing false information about income, work history, or eligibility for benefits
- Failing to report income earned while receiving unemployment compensation
- Using someone else’s personal information to file for Alabama unemployment benefits
- Collecting benefits from multiple states simultaneously (also known as double dipping)
- Falsely reporting your weekly work search activities
Any intentional misrepresentation or withholding of facts related to your eligibility for benefits is considered UI fraud, regardless of whether you actually receive UI benefits as a result. Always report all information accurately, and if you are unsure about any aspect of the claims process, contact the Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL).
Overpayments can result from failure to answer all questions truthfully on a claim, failure to report income, or failure to report conditions that make you unavailable for work. An improper payment can also happen after an employer files an Alabama unemployment appeal against your claim.
Notice of Overpayment
If you have been overpaid, you will receive a Notice of Determination of Overpayment, which will detail the amount of the overpayment and the reason why you were overpaid.
Overpayments can be collected by offsetting future benefit payments or intercepting state and federal income tax refunds. You can also voluntarily repay your overpayment online or via check made payable to the Alabama Department of Labor.
Mail your payments to:
Alabama Department of Labor
Benefit Payment Control Section, Room 3430
649 Monroe Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36131
Phone: (334) 956-4000
Waiver of Overpayments
Waivers of overpayments are only granted if the overpayment was not caused by your fault. To request a waiver, you must complete a waiver questionnaire after all appeal rights on your overpayment have become final. The chairperson of the Waiver Committee will review your request for a waiver.
Penalties for Alabama unemployment fraud
Committing Alabama unemployment fraud can result in a disqualification of your unemployment insurance benefits. All fraudulently received payments must be repaid in full, and fraudulent overpayment balances are subject to a minimum 15% penalty and accumulate interest at 2% per month. Unemployment compensation fraud is also punishable by law, and each week involving fraud is counted as a separate offense.
Unemployment identity theft
Unemployment identity theft occurs when criminals use stolen personal information to file an unemployment claim under someone else’s name. This results in the victim’s legitimate benefits being delayed or denied, while the fraudsters illegally receive benefits.
To prevent unemployment identity theft, the Alabama Department of Labor has implemented measures such as identity verification, fraud detection systems, and a hotline for reporting fraudulent activity. The department also urges citizens to protect their personal information and report any instances of unemployment identity theft immediately to prevent further damage.
If you are a victim of identity theft
If you suspect that you have become a victim of identity theft, it is important to act quickly to minimize the damage. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides a simple and straightforward way to file a complaint online at IdentityTheft.gov or you can call 877-ID-THEFT. Here are some additional steps recommended by the FTC to take:
Check Your Accounts
Check all your financial accounts, including bank accounts and credit cards, for any unauthorized transactions. If you find any accounts that have been tampered with or fraudulently opened, close them immediately.
File a Police Report
Contact your local police department to file a report if you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft. This report will be useful when disputing any fraudulent charges or accounts opened under your name. Keep a copy of the report to provide to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
Review Your Credit Reports
Request your free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com and review them for any fraudulent activity. Look for accounts that you did not open or loans that you did not take out.
Place a Fraud Alert
Place a fraud alert on your credit reports through Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. This alert notifies potential lenders to take extra precautions when verifying your identity before approving any new credit applications.
Keep a record of all the steps you take to address the situation. This includes names and numbers of people you talked to, dates of calls, emails, and mailings. Keep copies of all correspondence, affidavits, and reports.
IRS Form 14039
If your e-filed tax return is rejected because of a duplicate filing under your Social Security Number (SSN), or if you are instructed to do so by the IRS, complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
Remember to act quickly and stay vigilant to protect yourself online.