BATON ROUGE – Over the past two weeks, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) witnessed a drastic increase in Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims. Records show more than 32,000 claims were filed, many that are being rigorously reviewed for validity. To date, the LWC has stopped over 160,000 claims (and rising daily) that are potentially fraudulent/identity theft. As per guidance from USDOL, the LWC has amended the claims data until further analysis can be completed on these suspicious claims. Increased fraudulent activity is occurring nationwide, and Louisiana is not an exception.
“Our office remains conscientious in detecting and combating fraud,” said LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie. “We are tracking this data to identify any potential fraudulent claims that may have been filed. We apologize for any delay or inconvenience this issue may bring to our Louisiana families and workers, especially entering the holiday season.”
Due to the increase in possible fraudulent claims, some claimants may experience a delay in the payment of benefits. However, we are working to minimize delayed payments as much as possible. Working with our vendor, the LWC has setup and implemented new security measures to prevent future fraud. As a security measure going forward, claimants will be required to upload identity verification documents. In addition, some individuals may be requested to upload identification again, even if they previously uploaded this information.
To maintain the integrity of the UI Trust Fund and CARES Act Funding, the LWC has halted all payments on new claims filed after or on November 5, 2020. All new claimants will receive an email requesting further identity verification.
“We monitor and review our systems on a daily basis as people committing the fraud constantly change their methods,” stated Secretary Dejoie. “We work diligently with our security team and federal and state law enforcement to stay ahead of the fraud schemes.”
The LWC has implemented numerous additional fraud detection methods since March 2020 and has created an online reporting portal where ID Theft victims, individuals, and employers, can report suspected fraudulent claim activity: www.laworks.net
“Please note the LWC will never contact you and ask for your personal, private information,” Secretary Dejoie said. “If you receive a call, email, text, social media message, or other communication seeking information such as your username, password or full Social Security number, do not provide it. We will never ask you for this information; however, we may request that you upload documentation directly to your HiRE account at www.louisianaworks.net/hire.”
About the Louisiana Workforce Commission
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.
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