Michigan is experiencing an uptick in cases where criminals are using stolen identities to apply for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. These cases not only affect the victims – those who have had their personal information compromised – they also can have a negative effect on an employer’s UI tax rate. In many cases, employers may be the first to have information that UI fraud is occurring (e.g., a notice from the state regarding a monetary determination even though there has not been a change in the employee’s status).
- An employer suspecting identity theft should immediately protest the Monetary Determination or "Bi-Weekly Statement of Charges/Credits to the Employer's Account." The protest must be received by the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) no later than 30 days from the mail date shown on the first page of the form. Protests are to be sent through MiWAM or fax (1-517-636-0427). Protests can also be mailed, although this route isn’t preferred due to federally-mandated timelines for payments. The mailing address is: Unemployment Insurance Agency, P.O. Box 169, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0169.
- If you notice a suspicious claim, inform the victim immediately. You can use our Fraudulent UI Claim Employer Message template.
- Provide the victim with necessary paperwork to file a Statement of Identity Theft. The victim should also call the UIA immediately to report fraud at 1-855-UI-CRIME. It is recommended that the victim place a fraud alert on his/her credit using Experian, Equifax or TransUnion.
- Equip the impacted employee with the UIA Fact Sheet.
- Review the employer tip sheet.
- File a Statement of Identity Theft. Submit the form either in-person at a Problem Resolution Office, by mail (Unemployment Insurance, PO Box 169, Grand Rapids MI 49501), or by fax (517-636-0427).
- Call the UIA immediately to report fraud at 1-855-UI-CRIME or online at michigan.gov/uia through the Report Fraud or Report Identity Theft link.
- File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
- Place a fraud alert and get your credit reports. A fraud alert is free. It will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. To place a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.
- Get your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
- In instances where it is confirmed that a payment has been made as a result of unemployment identity theft not caught in time, report the payment to the IRS as a fraudulent payment by completing an IRS affidavit, Form 14039. Obtain the form online at irs.gov. Click on Forms and instructions.