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New York State Department of Labor

New York State Department of Labor Collects More Than $21 Million Over Six Months from 19,000 Individual Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Claims

First-of-its-Kind Treasury Offset Program Provides Innovative Model State Partnership with the Department of Treasury

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Albany, NY (August 12, 2014) -

State Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera today announced that through a partnership with the US Department of Treasury's Treasury Offset Program (TOP), New York State leads the nation in the number of recoveries made through this program. More than 19,000 individuals who filed fraudulent Unemployment Insurance claims have had their federal tax refunds intercepted, which returned $21 million over the past six months to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. New York was the first state in the nation to implement this program and has recovered more than $139.4 million since February 2011. The TOP program permits states to intercept funds from federal tax refunds and other federal payments due to individuals who have fraudulently collected benefits. 

“Unemployment Insurance benefits aren’t for the taking by unscrupulous individuals who seek to take from deserving workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “Through the TOP partnership, New York has led the way in bringing more than $21 million in stolen funds – just in the past six months – reserving those funds for the New Yorkers who need it most while helping businesses.”

In addition to working with the TOP, the Department also works to prevent improper payments from occurring in the first place through its integrity efforts, working proactively as well as obtaining compliance and re-payment from those who did fraudulently collect. In fact, New York was selected by the US Department of Labor to operate the National Unemployment Insurance Integrity Center of Excellence, which coordinates and collaborates with the federal government and all states in preventing, detecting, and recovering improper payments.

“This program works directly hand-in-hand with Governor Cuomo’s Unemployment Insurance reform package. Battling Unemployment Insurance fraud in our state is among the most important of our goals as we continue to make our Trust Fund solvent,” said State Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera. “We have an entire team dedicated to preventing and rooting out fraud and ensuring bad actors don’t jeopardize the system. This partnership with US Treasury is a crucial tool in bringing those stolen funds back into the state to help the people who need it.” 

Since the program’s start in 2011, New York State has recouped $139.4 million dollars from fraudulent claims that has been returned back into the State’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

The Department encourages anyone with an outstanding balance due to call 1-800-533-6600 to make payment. Payment plans are available. The Department also offers a fraud hotline and website for fraud tips. If you are aware of or suspect a fraudulent attempt to obtain Unemployment Insurance benefits, please visit https://labor.ny.gov/secure/fraud/report-fraud.shtm or call 1-888-598-2077.

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