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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Department of Labor
Examination of Unemployment Insurance Benefits
(Issued: 6/9/2014)


Purpose

The objectives of our examination were to determine if Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments made by the Department of Labor (DOL) were appropriate and in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws and regulations, and whether DOL took corrective action based on the results of our findings.


Background

To accomplish our objectives, we used automated “filters” and performed file matches to select payments for examination based on risk.  We reviewed the high risk claims identified by the filters and file matches to determine if DOL made erroneous payments and, if so, to prevent future overpayments.  We also matched the DOL UI Benefit Overpayment File to the New York State Payroll File to identify newly hired New York State employees who owed DOL money for outstanding benefit overpayments.

The results contained in our report cover select high risk payment requests and payments DOL processed from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013, prior years’ payments associated with those high risk payment requests and payments, and prior years’ findings confirmed by DOL during in 2013.


Key Findings

We identified 7,370 erroneous payment totaling more than $2 million.  This includes $728,493 in current payments we stopped and future payments that would have been made over the life of the claim had DOL not taken corrective action based on our findings, and $1,307,148 in erroneous payments made.

We found other potential recoveries totaling $374,295.  This includes $272,852 from newly hired New York State employees who owe DOL for UI overpayments made in prior years, and $101,443 from claimants against whom DOL assessed monetary penalties as a result of our findings.

DOL has recovered $1,528,896 from UI claimants and New York State employees due to our current and past examination efforts.  This includes $811,523 in forfeited UI benefits from claimants who made false statements or representations to obtain benefits they were not eligible to receive, and $717,373 from New York State employees who owed DOL for UI overpayments made in prior years.


Key Recommendations

  • Continue to enhance controls to identify claimants falsely certifying eligibility to receive UI benefits.  Prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law.
  • Ensure staff follows established policies and procedures when processing claims.
  • Establish and implement controls to prevent overpayments resulting from limitations in the DOL UI payment system.
  • Recoup overpayments and monetary assessments from claimants, as appropriate.


For a complete copy of Report, click here.

 


Division of Contracts and Expenditures
Bernard J. McHugh, Director of State Expenditures

Phone: (518) 474-4868 Email: stexpend@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Contracts and Expenditures
110 State Street, 10th Floor; Albany, NY 12236