The Michigan Chamber has been actively engaging with the House Oversight Committee to develop reforms to Michigan’s unemployment insurance (UI) program specifically targeted at identity theft and imposter claims.
Chamber members and businesses across the state are reporting a sharp uptick in the number of identity theft claims being filed. (Click here to learn how employers can help detect and prevent fraud.) Identity thieves are using worker data to apply for and receive unemployment benefits. While it is important that employers pay close attention to their accounts and protest any fraudulent claims to avoid charges to your UI account and a subsequent increase in your UI tax rate, the state needs to do more to prevent these claims from being filed on the front-end.
We hope to have legislation ready to be introduced in the coming weeks to require the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) to do more to check the identities of claimants by implementing procedures similar to those used by financial institutions. We are also seeking legislation to put procedures and safeguards in place to support employers and employees who find themselves victims of identity theft.
If your company has experienced issues with fraudulent claims and you would like to share your story or seek assistance with a suspicious claim, please contact Wendy Block, Director of Health & Human Resources for the Michigan Chamber, at firstname.lastname@example.org.