U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance to States to Ensure Integrity of Unemployment Insurance Programs

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor today issued targeted guidance and reminders that provide states with details regarding required integrity functions for their regular unemployment compensation programs, as well as those authorized by Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, in UIPL 23-20. The guidance aims to help states guard against fraud and abuse of their unemployment insurance systems.

“As states implement the various provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to provide benefits to eligible applicants, they must exercise due diligence at all times in the administration of their programs to protect the integrity of the unemployment insurance system,” said Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John P. Pallasch. “As the stewards of taxpayer dollars, states and localities have an obligation to spot and detect waste and fraud in the unemployment insurance system and report it to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and other appropriate channels,” Pallasch added.

To protect the program integrity of the regular unemployment compensation program, states must maintain weekly certification processes to verify the continuing eligibility of the program’s claimants and must complete required checks for interstate wages. The department also requires that states maintain these key eligibility determination processes for regular unemployment compensation claims to conform and substantially comply with federal unemployment compensation laws. States are also required to implement the same program integrity activities used for the regular unemployment compensation program for the CARES Act programs, such as verifying identity and cross matching with certain databases designed to prevent and detect improper payments and fraud.