State Leaders Called Upon to Address Unemployment Compensation Issues
The Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce joined several other Chambers of Commerce across the state and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry to send a letter calling on Attorney General Shapiro, Auditor General DeFoor, Treasurer Garrity, Labor and Industry Secretary Berrier, and Secretary of Revenue Hassel to create a multi-agency task force to address Unemployment Compensation issues in the commonwealth.
We’ve asked that the collective agencies take immediate and necessary steps to put a stop to the rampant Unemployment Compensation (UC) fraud being perpetuated against Pennsylvania’s citizens. The volume of fraudulent claims has been escalating to the point that some employers are getting multiple claims per day, and they can’t deny these requests fast enough.
These fraudulent claims are a huge burden, and the new UC system makes it difficult for someone to delete or alter a fraudulent claim. One HR professional had a claim perpetuated against their own identity and when they went to correct the mistake, they saw that it included erroneous banking data. They then spent six hours on the phone trying to connect with someone at L&I to clear up just this one false claim; and many employers have numerous such discrepancies among their workforce they are trying to help resolve.
These UC fraud claims also have a detrimental ripple effect on employers, starting with being an unnecessary paperwork headache. The paperwork burden being seen since L&I has moved to the new online system has included the following:
• A deluge of mailed requests for relief for claims in 2020 and 2021 that included limited Social Security information, but no names to identify the employees.
• A redundant email communication system that sends out three emails per claim and requires the printing of a 5–6-page form per email that all must be filled out and mailed back to respond to the claim. Some employers have reported receiving 200 such emails in a two-day period.
• Email notices that include unencrypted attachments containing personal protected information such as complete Social Security numbers.
There has to be a simpler and more secure way to address these issues. Employers who operate in multiple states report that not only are the UC fraud claims in Pennsylvania far more numerous here than any other state, but the UC paperwork is considerably more cumbersome.
We’ve shared the request with Representative Irvin, Senator Corman and Senator Ward.