CHEYENNE, Wyo., Oct. 25 -- The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has issued the following news release:
The Department of Workforce Services' Unemployment Insurance Division continues its efforts to detect fraudulent claims. Fraudulent claims most often occur when individuals receiving unemployment insurance benefits fail to notify the Department when they become employed.
Joan Evans, Director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, said, "It's unfortunate that fraud occurs within our Unemployment Insurance system, but we do see it happen. We have a limited amount of benefits that we can offer to people who are facing unemployment, and when people receive benefits that are not eligible, we are prompted to take steps to recover those overpayments. This is the only way we can reserve those benefits for those who are eligible."
If individuals receiving unemployment insurance benefits fail to notify the Department when they have a change in income, they may be required to pay back the Department for any overpayment of benefits they receive. In addition, they may be subject to a penalty, or in some cases, could face criminal charges.
Lori Huseas, the Benefit Payment Control Supervisor for the Department, said, "Claimants are required to notify us if they become employed. We match wage records that employers send us with our benefits system. When there is a discrepancy, a red flag is raised, and we must investigate."
There has been a nationwide effort to reduce fraud in Unemployment Insurance claims since the Executive Order to Reduce Improper Payments was signed by the President in November, 2009.
To learn more about Unemployment Insurance benefits or the Department's fraud detection practices, visit wyomingworkforce.org or call 877-WORK-WYO.