Why are some states handling unemployment fraud better than others during COVID-19?

Written by:
Justin Hyde
Senior Director, Market Planning
Government Civilian Markets

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There seems to be a lot of activity around identity fraud in the unemployment insurance (UI) space; and for good reason as COVID has brought out fraudsters in droves.

The fact is that identity theft and fraudulent activity are nothing new to UI programs nor to other government programs across the nation. However, UI seems to have hit a perfect storm head on. We went from a robust economy with some of the lowest unemployment rates ever to the worst almost overnight. During the ‘good times’ (i.e. before the Pandemic) unemployment insurance fraud and even system scalability were simply not at the forefront of discussion nor was there budget earmarked to address them… in most cases that is. There were a number of states mindful that even if UI claim volumes were low, it certainly didn’t mean that they were free fraudulent claims attacks. They went ahead and did something about it… and those are the states who were prepared to defend against these unscrupulous fraud attacks when our country was at its most vulnerable.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions is proud to be on the right side of the fence with our customers; Unemployment Insurance agencies that knew that fraud was out there and took preventative measures even when it wasn’t the most news-worthy topic… and all the while helping true unemployment claims get processed quicker for those in need. An example of this is Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development implementing and using technology solutions that are helping them mitigate improper UI payouts. For years, our government team has locked arms with our customers and together vowed to help defend the UI program; driven by our mantra to be pro-people, anti-fraud. As a leader in fighting fraud and detecting improper payments for states, we salute the steadfast work of these agencies.

We’re here to continue helping state workforce agencies on the front lines in the fight against fraud and abuse, as they look to use the new resources and grant funding provided by the Department of Labor.

What’s discouraging during these times is some of the apparent opportunism taking place. ‘Solution providers’ are coming out of the woodwork and pouncing on agencies that are trying to make head from tails, getting beaten up in the news, and are having a difficult time getting unemployment benefits and other services to those who need it. Time, money (including taxpayer dollars), reputations, and lives are being wasted by these ‘shiny objects’ that promise a lot but will have a challenge to deliver real benefit to states. Some because they are trying to re-purpose something that may have worked for other use cases, some trying to build something from scratch, some just full of empty promises. I’d caution government agencies to proceed carefully and select a vendor and solution you know has been proven to make a difference for your specific use case(s).

LexisNexis Risk Solutions has been here supporting the UI system across the country for years; we aren’t going anywhere, and we know what it takes to help defend against threats and fraudulent actors within and across government. We are fraud experts and we understand your program. We are here to partner with you and help you through this tough situation.

Learn more about how we’re helping unemployment insurance agencies here.

Watch our On-Demand Webinar to learn more about how we’re helping unemployment insurance agencies. 
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