On May 5, WR joined with business associations and companies in the Unemployment Insurance industry in a letter to congressional leadership in support of the Protecting Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act (HR 1163). Key provisions in the bill include:
Incentivizing states to recover fraudulent unemployment payments:
- Allowing states to retain 25 percent of fraudulent federal funds recovered: Currently, state workforce agencies have little incentive to pursue costly investigations and prosecutions.
- Allowing states to retain 5 percent of state UI overpayments recovered, upon meeting data matching integrity conditions, and dedicating such funds to preventing future fraud—reforms supported by DOL-IG, and in past budget requests by President Trump and President Obama.
Improving program integrity and preventing future fraud:
- Allows states to use funds recovered to improve UI program integrity and fraud prevention by:
- Hiring investigators and prosecutors to go after criminals to recover fraud payments;
- Modernizing state systems’ ability to verify identity and income in unemployment administration;
- Adding program integrity activities as determined by the state to deter, detect, and prevent improper payments;
- Ensuring UI claims are verified against the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) and the State Information Data Exchange System;
- Stopping UI payments to incarcerated and deceased people.
Extending the statute of limitations for civil actions and criminal charges prosecuting fraud from 5 to 10 years, as recommended by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee in testimony provided to the Ways and Means Committee.
The House Ways and Means Committee provided a detailed explanation of the provisions in the bill and the need for legislation to address identity theft, fraud ring prosecutions and recovery in its report at CRPT-118hrpt34.pdf (congress.gov)
The legislation provides additional UI integrity tools and the availability of a source of long-term dedicated funding for states to address UI fraud and overpayment recovery. The bill is set for hearing before the House Rules Committee. See H.R. 1163 – Protecting Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act — House of Representatives Committee on Rules.