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Louisiana Unemployment Fraud

Louisiana Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment fraud in Louisiana is a serious issue that can strain the state’s unemployment trust fund and lead to criminal penalties for those involved. UI fraud involves individuals falsely claiming unemployment benefits that they are not eligible to receive.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission is responsible for overseeing unemployment claims and benefits, and they work closely with other agencies like the Inspector General and the Attorney General’s Office to detect and prosecute fraud.

How to report fraud

If you believe someone is fraudulently receiving unemployment benefits, there are several ways to report it.

If you don’t want to submit your report online, you can directly report suspected fraud by calling 1-800-201-3362. This helps protect the unemployment trust fund and ensures that only eligible individuals receive support. For further assistance, contact Louisiana Workforce customer service.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission, the Attorney General’s Office, and other agencies actively investigate unemployment fraud to protect both the public purse and the integrity of the system. By being vigilant and reporting suspicious activity, you help make unemployment insurance fair for all Louisiana workers.

What is Louisiana unemployment fraud?

When an individual receives unemployment benefits they’re not entitled to, the Louisiana Workforce Commission will take steps to recover the overpayment. This often involves offsetting future unemployment benefits or garnishing federal and state tax refunds. Importantly, if you intentionally provide false information in order to be eligible for UI benefits, you can be charged with fraud. Such acts may lead to prosecution, and penalties can include fines, restitution, or even imprisonment.

Types of Individual Unemployment Insurance Fraud

  • Reporting Employment Income: If you have a job and earn wages, you must report this income. Not doing so is a form of fraud. Failure to report employment income may result in criminal charges. If you feel you have been mistakenly accused of fraud, you have the right to file an appeal.

  • Availability for Work: Louisiana unemployment benefits are for those actively looking for work. If you’re not able to seek or accept employment for any reason—be it vacation, medical issues, or incarceration—you are not eligible for benefits during that time. Ignoring the work search requirements and claiming benefits anyway is fraudulent behavior.

  • Identity theft: This form of fraud occurs when someone steals personal information like your Social Security number to make false claims for unemployment benefits. It’s a serious issue that can disrupt your own unemployment payments and create legal problems. Aggravated identity theft means not just stealing someone’s identity, but using it to commit other crimes as well.

  • Employer fraud: Sometimes it’s the employer, not the applicant, who commits unemployment fraud. For example, an employer might intentionally misclassify a worker as an independent contractor to avoid paying into the Louisiana unemployment insurance benefits system.

To avoid issues with UI fraud, always provide honest, accurate information on your application and weekly claim.

What is unemployment identity theft?

Unemployment identity theft is a growing issue where criminals use stolen personal information, including Social Security numbers, to apply for Louisiana unemployment benefits. This type of fraudulent activity is a drain on the unemployment trust fund and creates a host of problems for the victims. One form this takes is “Claim Hijacking,” where a criminal gains access to someone’s unemployment account to reroute benefit payments to a different bank account or debit card.

Victims often discover the fraud through official notifications. For example, they may receive a letter from their state’s unemployment agency or a 1099-G tax form that reports unemployment payments they never applied for or received. Others find out when their regular unemployment payments suddenly stop, and they notice that contact information or bank details on their claim have been altered without their consent.

If you suspect identity theft, the Louisiana Workforce Commission recommends filing a report with local law enforcement and submitting an online allegation form to the Office of Inspector General.

After you’ve filed these reports and sent copies to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, you’ll receive an email outlining the next steps in the fraud reporting process. Save all related documents for your records and tax purposes.

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