Thursday, January 21, 2010

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - PENALTIES

Since we have been discussing overpayments, you should be aware of this statute and the very wide definition of wilfully:

"§ 594 Labor Law. Reduction of benefits for false statement.

A claimant who has wilfully made a false statement or representation to
obtain any benefit under the provisions of this article shall forfeit
benefits for at least the first four but not more than the first eighty
effective days following discovery of such offense for which he otherwise
would have been entitled to receive benefits. Such penalty shall apply only
once with respect to each such offense.

For the purpose of subdivision four of section five hundred ninety of
this article, the claimant shall be deemed to have received benefits for
such forfeited effective days.

The penalty provided in this section shall not be confined to a single
benefit year but shall no longer apply in whole or in part after the
expiration of two years from the date on which the offense was committed. A
claimant shall refund all moneys received because of such false statement
or representation made by him."

Now according to the Department of Labor:

"Not every false statement subjects a claimant to the penalties provided in sub. sec. 594. A claimant may provide information (s)he believes to be true, which ultimately proves to be incorrect. In such instances no penalty applies. However, if it is established that the claimant was aware of the true situation, but gave false information, or purposely failed to fully disclose the facts, a determination of wilful misrepresentation should be made. As the courts have held, "'wilful' as used here does not imply a criminal intent to defraud but means 'knowingly' , 'intentionally' , 'deliberately' to make a false statement. (Matter of Vick, 12 AD 2d 120)"

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