DENVER (KDVR) — Unemployment benefits fraud continues to affect states across the nation, adding weight to an already heavy burden carried by state workers trying to assist millions of people in need of financial assistance.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers the department prevented more than 1.1 million fraudulent claims from being paid out, preventing more than $7 billion in fraudulent benefit payments since the start of the pandemic. Ninety percent of PUA claims were deemed fraudulent.
A big red flag of fraud is if a resident receives benefits paperwork or a Reliacard that was never applied for.
Richard Martinez tells the Problem Solvers having his account hijacked was the last thing he needed.
“I would be so frustrated because here I was I know my social security number, I know where I live and I would give him that information but it did not match what they had,” he said.
An integrity hold was placed on his benefits file. The CDLE tells the Problem Solvers it can take up to a week to investigate and clear a safety hold.
Martinez, who says he’s not real tech savvy, received official confirmation that he was a victim of fraud, but still couldn’t get into the system. The Problem Solvers reached out to the department, which contacted Martinez directly and helped him go through the Id.Me process and certify his account.
The CDLE tells the Problem Solvers if you have an integrity hold on your benefits account due to fraud, you should go through the Id.Me process and fill out this form to be sent a customized link with instructions. The majority of program integrity issues are cleared within 2-3 days after the hold is reported to the Division if the claimant successfully completes the verification process.
Any case of or suspicion of fraud should be reported immediately.