The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is providing the following information regarding unemployment insurance fraud that may be of interest to county governments and their employees. While the VEC is committed to ensuring unemployment benefits go to individuals who are eligible to receive them, unfortunately fraud does occur. The current worldwide pandemic has resulted in an increase of potential fraud cases reported to The VEC.
Types of Fraud include:
- Identity theft related to Unemployment Insurance: usually not the fault of the claimant or the employer, and happens when someone illegally files for unemployment benefits using your identity.
- False information: which is knowingly submitted to receive unemployment benefits. An example would be a claimant who has returned to work, but continues to file weekly claims for benefits without reporting wages earned.
- Overpayments: can happen when a claimant receives more benefits than they are entitled to.
Upon suspicion of fraud, all individuals should complete the Fraud/Theft/Overpayment Form on the VEC website, mail or fax:
Virginia Employment Commission
Attention: Benefit Payment Control
P.O Box 27887
Richmond, VA 23261-7887
VEC agents may assist in completing the form at 1-800-782-4001. This telephone number is only for assistance to complete the form online. With any other issue, the Customer Contact Center is 1-866-832-2363.
The Benefit Payment Control unit of VEC is notified of fraud reports and takes action to stop any further activity and suspend the claim. Federal regulations, 20 C.F.R. Part 603 prohibits disclosure of claims information, except in very limited circumstances. Therefore, the alleged fraud will be investigated by a VEC fraud investigator and/or law enforcement. Often, reporters will not receive follow up contact or information regarding the fraudulent claim, the VEC unit will proceed with the investigation.
An additional result of the pandemic is the increase of potential scammers attempting to defraud users applying for unemployment insurance. The VEC reminds everyone that VEC has only one official website: https://www.vec.virginia.gov/
VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett