Category Archives: Unemployment Insurance

ID.me Helps Stop Unemployment Insurance Fraud

by Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier

Crime rings across the globe are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by attempting to commit large-scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs, and Idaho is not exempt.

These crime rings possess large databases of stolen personally identifiable information which is used to submit a large volume of applications for unemployment benefits. Scammers use the names and addresses of Idaho residents, but then have payments sent to bank accounts in other states or have bank cards mailed to different addresses.

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FAQs for Unemployment Claimants about the American Rescue Plan Act

Are the unemployment insurance benefits funded through the CARES Act extended?

Yes. On March 12, 2021, Pres. Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. This Act extended the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. The programs are set to end on week ending Sept. 4, 2021. The American Rescue Plan contains a new provision to exempt $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 from federal income taxes. The state of Idaho does not exempt unemployment insurance benefits from state income taxes.

I am currently on an extension. Am I eligible for additional weeks?

Yes. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is often referred to as extended benefits. The bill added 29 weeks, extending the maximum number of benefit weeks from 24 to 53.

I am currently self-employed and receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Are my benefits extended?

Yes. PUA is a program for low wage earners and self-employed individuals. The bill extended the program an additional 29 weeks, extending the maximum number of weeks from 50 to 79.

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Idaho’s Unemployment Continued Claims Increase 14 Percent

The number of Idahoans who filed a continued claim for regular state unemployment insurance benefits increased 14 percent for the week ending Jan. 2 to 13,338, up 1,632 over the previous week. The four-week moving average for continued claims increased from 11,028 for the week ending Dec. 26 to 11,725.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 4,612 for the week ending Jan. 2, up by 386 claims, while the four-week moving average decreased by 3 percent to 4,219.

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FAQs for Unemployment Claimants about the CARES Act Extension

Are the unemployment insurance benefits that are funded through the CARES Act extended?

Yes. On Dec. 27, 2020, Pres. Donald Trump signed a stimulus bill that renews unemployment benefit programs through the CARES Act, that was originally set to expire Dec. 26, 2020.

Will I experience a gap in benefits?

If you were receiving benefits through the CARES Act, and they exhausted, your payments may be delayed. We are working as quickly as possible to implement the extension provisions. Please continue to submit your weekly certifications. You will be paid for all eligible week(s) claimed when the program is fully implemented.

I am currently on an extension. Am I eligible for additional weeks?

Yes. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), is commonly referred to as extended benefits. The bill added 11 weeks, extending the maximum number of benefit weeks from 13 to 24.

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Idaho’s Unemployment Continued Claims Increase 4 Percent

The number of Idahoans who filed a continued claim for regular state unemployment insurance benefits increased 4 percent for the week ending Dec. 26 to 11,706, up 481 over the previous week. The four-week moving average for continued claims increased from 10,412 for the week ending Dec. 19 to 11,028.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 4,226 for the week ending Dec. 26, up by 270 claims, while the four-week moving average increased by 1 percent to 4,335.

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FAQs About ID.me and Claimant Identity Verification

Who is ID.me?

ID.me is our federally certified partner for secure digital identity verification. ID.me helps make sure you’re you – and not someone pretending to you be you – when you apply for unemployment insurance. Claimants who are sent an email and letter from the Idaho Department of Labor about identity verification are required to verify their identity through the ID.me application, which can be accessed online with a laptop, desktop computer or cell phone.

I received a letter to verify my identity through ID.me, but I did not file a claim. What do I do?

Please email your full name and phone number to fraud@labor.idaho.gov. Please be assured we will stop payments and contact you for additional information if necessary.  You can file a report on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website about this situation. The FTC can help you recover from identity theft and has resources and information to protect your identity, including credit bureau contact information found here: https://www.identitytheft.gov/Steps

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Idaho’s Unemployment Continued Claims Increase 6 Percent

The number of Idahoans who filed a continued claim for regular state unemployment insurance benefits increased six percent for the week ending Dec. 19 to 11,225, up 595 over the previous week. The four-week moving average for continued claims increased from 9,804 for the week ending Dec. 12 to 10,412.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 3,956 for the week ending Dec. 19, down by 127 claims, while the four-week moving average decreased by 4 percent to 4,276.

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FAQs for Unemployment Claimants about the End of the CARES Act Programs

Question: I hear Congress approved extending unemployment benefits and other stimulus programs.

Answer: Congress has passed legislation to extend the CARES Act programs that affect unemployment benefits. Now that it has been signed by President Trump, states will be informed about how to implement the program. Until then, we have no additional details and cannot answer your phone calls regarding the extension. We will post any updates on our FAQs and website as they become available. Please continue to submit your weekly reports.

Q: I hear that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is ending.

A: You are correct, unemployment insurance programs and extensions funded by the federal CARES Act expired Dec. 26, 2020, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

Q: How do I know if I am receiving unemployment insurance funded by the Federal CARES Act?

A: PEUC, or extended benefits program, adds 13 weeks to exhausted unemployment benefits. If you applied for extended benefits on the Claimant Portal, you’ll see confirmation that your extended benefits application was approved on the Claimant Portal home page under Extended Benefits.

PUA is for self-employed, low wage earners or workers with denied issues who were unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals who are primarily self-employed uploaded tax information to the Claimant Portal to determine monetary eligibility.

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Respuestas a preguntas frecuentes acerca del fraude de identidad del Seguro de Desempleo

Pregunta: Las solicitudes para beneficios de desempleo, ¿están siendo llenadas por personas que se han robado la identidad de alguien?

Respuesta: Sí. Redes criminales a través de todo el globo están explotando la crisis de Covid-19 intentando cometer fraude a gran escala contra varios programas de seguro de desempleo estatales. Estas redes criminales poseen bases de datos sustanciales de información personal identificable robadas, las cuales son usadas para entregar un gran volumen de solicitudes de beneficios seguro de desempleo. Los estafadores usan los nombres y direcciones de residentes de Idaho, pero hacen enviar los fondos a cuentas bancarias en otros estados o hacen que las tarjetas bancarias sean enviadas a direcciones diferentes. El Departamento está trabajando muy de cerca con las agencias policiacas federales y las oficinas del Inspector General del Departamento de Trabajo Federal para abordar este problema.

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Unemployment Insurance Identity Fraud Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Are unemployment insurance applications being filed by people who have stolen someone’s identity?

Answer: Yes. Crime rings across the globe are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by attempting to commit large scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs. These crime rings possess substantial databases of stolen personally identifiable information which is used to submit a large volume of applications for unemployment benefits. Scammers use the names and addresses of Idaho residents, but then have payments sent to bank accounts in other states or have bank cards mailed to different addresses. The department is working closely with federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General to address fraud.

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