Cranston, RI – In its continuing efforts to combat fraud, the RI Department of Labor and Training has entered into an agreement with the Attorney General’s office to fund an attorney position specifically devoted to prosecuting income support, workers’ compensation and workforce regulation and safety matters.
This new position will be embedded in the Attorney General’s office, and will be dedicated to prosecuting criminal and civil matters referred by DLT.
Governor Chafee states, “By building our capacity to prosecute those who are working and collecting, we are sending a strong message that the misuse of unemployment insurance benefits will not be tolerated.”
The Department of Labor and Training has been proactive in its efforts to combat fraud. Recently, it has implemented a State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) to communicate electronically with employers regarding layoff and separation information. Just this week, it has begun an interstate pilot program to recover unemployment insurance overpayments from former RI claimants now collecting unemployment insurance in other states. The department is also in the process of implementing a Treasury Offset Program (TOPS) to recover unemployment insurance overpayments from federal tax reports.
To detect fraud, the department cross-references data from the National and State Directories of New Hires, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Corrections. DLT also conducts random audits of unemployment insurance claims to verify that beneficiaries are meeting their work search requirements.
In addition to the interstate pilot program, the department recovers overpayments through offset from state income tax returns and state lottery winnings. It employs a collection agency to pursue overpayments and refers fraud-related claims to the RI State Police. In 2012, DLT recovered $5.5 million in UI and Temporary Disability Insurance overpayments made over the past several years.
Source: RI DLT