Continued Fraudulent IDES Claims
By: Maryjo Pirages Reynolds
There have been approximately 215,000 fraudulent unemployment claims filed in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic. Unfortunately, I continue to routinely learn of newly filed fraudulent claims for benefits, perpetuating frustration for HR and employees alike. Often these claims involve company executives, presumably because of the fraudsters’ efforts to maximize benefits. When an employer receives such a claim, I recommend that it does the following:
- Protest the Notice of Claim utilizing the standard process. Note, there is a quick turnaround time to respond to a claim because an employer only has 10 days and often less given mail time. If you get a Notice of Claim past the deadline to protest, go ahead and submit a protest as soon as possible and include the date of receipt.
- Complete IDES’ Contact Form available at https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/Contact-IDES_Form.aspx.
- As part of a belt and suspender approach, fax a Notice of Suspected Fraud letter to IDES’ Field Audit Manager at (312) 793-4351.
- Have a conversation with the employee alerting him to the claim, confirming that he did not file it, reminding him that if he receives an IDES debit card, he should not activate it, and asking to be kept apprised of any other communications received from IDES.
- When you get the quarterly Statement of Amount Due, make sure the employer is not assessed charges for a fraudulent claim.
If you receive multiple fraudulent claims (as is often the case), I recommend going through the above steps separately for each employee. Employers should maintain copies of all correspondence submitted to IDES. In our experience, trying to call IDES to report fraud (or for any other reason) is futile given the current call volume. In emergency situations, I have successfully telephoned IDES representatives using the contact information provided by the State’s Employee Directory available at https://cmsapps.illinois.gov/TeleDirectory/WorkUnitListing (filter your search using the term ‘Rockford’ to find local agents). I wish you the best this holiday season, as we continue to navigate these challenges.