UI Improper Payment Prevention - UIB-144 Notice

Form UIB-144 is a Colorado Dept of Labor & Employment (CDLE) that is sent to employers to complete and return to the agency to help prevent improper unemployment insurance (UI) benefit payments. Specifically, the agency is confirming whether or not an employee was simultaneously working for an employer during the same workweeks that they were receiving UI benefits as defined by the agency. 

 

Why did I get this letter? This arises typically shortly after each UITR return and wages data for quarter is processed by the agency. The agency databases cross compares UI wage earnings data from the UITR's against the UI claims data the state has on file. Since the initial review is on a 3-month quarterly basis, the agency must follow up to learn the specific timeframe an employee was working for the employer, and precisely down to specific workweeks.

What if I pay bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly? You will need to review your timekeeping data to calculate earnings for the employee during the specific weeks listed on the form. They would like this information based on when wages were earned not paid.

How can ASAP help? ASAP will be glad to assist pulling reports for you to reference or completing as much as we can from the data on file in our software. However, before sending this form to ASAP, please look it over and answer any questions you may know best, such as the current work status of the employee. Also, please review your time files and cross reference for the work weeks requested on the form.

How does this impact UI claims due to COVID-19? Due to COVID-19 closures, we expect a high volume of these notices to be mailed out in July/August 2020. For employers that are attempting to rehire employees to come back to work either under a PPP loan forgiveness plan or otherwise, it is critical that you make abundantly clear to your employees when their rehire/return-to-work date is with your company so that they can properly report that work day to the UI agency. If they make a mistake, they may be subject down the road to repaying improper UI benefits.

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Reporting Suspected Unemployment Fraud to the State of Colorado

If you think a worker is receiving benefits fraudulently, you can report them to the State of Colorado so that a case can be opened to investigate the matter.

Unemployed Worker Fraud per the State of Colorado: A person is committing fraud if they knowingly make a false statement or withhold information to receive unemployment benefits payments.

Fraud Includes:
  • Not reporting or under-reporting hours and earnings while working and collecting benefits.
  • Failing to report employment. This includes commission, temporary, 1099 (independent contractor), self-employment, or cash jobs.
  • Failing to report a job separation.
  • Fabricating work search efforts or failing to conduct a valid work search.
  • Failing to report refusals of work.
  • Making a false statement or misrepresentation to receive or increase unemployment payments. (e.g., failing to report school attendance while collecting payments).
  • Using another person's identity (name and/or social security number) to work and file for unemployment payments.
  • Helping someone file a fraudulent unemployment claim.
  • Failing to report other types of compensation (e.g., Workers' Compensation benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance).
  • Failing to report being unable and unavailable to work (e.g., ill or injured, out of area, on vacation, etc.) while collecting unemployment payments.
  • They knowingly make a false statement or withhold information to receive unemployment benefits payments.
Penalties for Unemployment Fraud
Working while receiving benefit payments may result in a person being charged with theft, which includes a mandatory, monetary penalty of 65% of the total amount overpaid. In addition, a 4-week penalty can be assessed for each week in which the person fraudulently requested payment. Penalty weeks must be served on an active claim for which you are filing for benefits. While serving penalty weeks, benefits will not be paid and no money will be offset toward the overpaid amount. These penalties are in addition to any civil and criminal prosecution, including court costs and/or fines.

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Disclaimer: This information is provided as a self-help tool and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Laws, regulations and lending products are changing daily and decisions as to whether or how to use this information and/or what actions to take in response to the COVID19 Pandemic are solely those of the employer. The providers of this information disclaim any and all responsibility and liability for its accuracy, completeness or fitness for your particular business purposes.

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