The House of Representatives Unemployment Fraud Task Force approved proposed legislation giving the state more measures to go after fraudulent over payments of unemployment benefits.
For one thing, the proposal would eliminate any statute of limitations on recovering over payments. Currently the State Division of Employment Security has ten years to recover benefits received through fraud. If the over payments are not the fraudulent then the state has three years to go after reimbursements.
The bill would also increase the penalty for unemployment fraud from a misdemeanor to a felony for benefits exceeding $400.
It would impose a 15 percent penalty on fraudulent over payments as required by the federal government beginning October 1, 2013
The legislation also adds the federal mandate to charge employers accounts for over payments due to the failure of the employer to respond to the division in a timely and adequate manner.
Members of the task force want employers to report new hires more quickly so the state can match unemployment recipients with a Directory of New Hires. The proposal would require employers to report new hires within 60 days.
The task force is also considering amending the proposal to allow the state to garnish wages to recover over payments.