What to Do With All Those Fake Unemployment Claims

The good news? Digging out won't be as bad as you think. The bad news? Yes, you still have to think about unemployment fraud.

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Human hand and arm rising out of an ocean of white paperwork against a city background.
Drowning in fake unemployment claims? You're not alone. / Copyright: Daniil Peshkov

Chances are you’ve got a mountain of unemployment claims for people you’ve never heard of stashed somewhere at this very moment. Or maybe you have heard of them. We’ve talked to business owners who have received claims for themselves from Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) or, in one memorable case, from the state of Arkansas. (Sadly, we won’t be covering Arkansas’ processes here.)

The Colorado Restaurant Association’s April 21 webinar tackled what to do when you’re faced with a slew of claims from people who have never worked for you, or stormed off in a huff three years ago, or no-showed for a job interview last month. The good news? It’s not all bad news: After you’ve reported fraudulent claims (for people who never worked for you, who have a mismatched name and Social Security Number, or for current employees who didn’t file a claim), all that’s required of you is patience. Those charges will eventually be removed from your account, and you can ignore subsequent correspondence about fake claims. The bad news? You do have to keep current with the CDLE’s notices, report false claims, and respond to other claims that have been filed—even ones from former employees who worked for you years ago or who you don’t believe are eligible for unemployment.

Viewer Q&A starts at 31:20, but the entire webinar is full of helpful information. And if you’re having trouble mustering that patience we mentioned earlier? It may help to keep in mind that unemployment claims have increased by over 700 percent in the past year due to COVID, and the CDLE is currently facing a backlog equivalent to five years’ worth of claims. We guarantee CDLE employees are buried under a much bigger mountain of claims than you are.

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com

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