For millions of Americans, unemployment benefits are critical to keep their families going. When you register for unemployment benefits, your application is a legal document that entitles you to compensation often on the conditions that you are currently unemployed, fit to work, and will seek work. Any incorrect information about your work status or details in your application can be construed as misrepresentation of facts to commit unemployment fraud, which could lead to criminal proceedings.
So, what is unemployment fraud? Many have benefited from asking experts on JustAnswer for fast and affordable answers. Here are the top questions answered by Lawyers on JustAnswer.
You may be guilty of unemployment insurance fraud if you hold back information from or give false information to the Department of Labour. You must report the true reason you were released from employment. If you work while receiving benefits, you must report all full-time and part-time employment to the Labour Department or you could risk criminal penalties.
If, for no fault of your own, you have received benefits to which you are not entitled, you may not have to repay a non-fraudulent overpayment depending on your circumstances. However, you may receive a notice telling you if the overpayment must be repaid. Whether you have to repay the overpayment or not can also depend on the specifics of your case. If you are not sure what you should do, you can ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Usually both unemployment fraud penalties and overpayment must be repaid. If you are convicted for receiving benefits by giving false information, it could include a financial penalty to the extent of 30% of the overpayment and a false statement disqualification of 5 to 23 weeks.
If you receive a notice and do not repay your overpayment promptly, EDD may deduct the money owed from your future weekly unemployment or state insurance benefits. EDD may also reduce or totally withhold your state income tax refunds, lottery winnings, or any other money owed to you by the state. It could also file a claim against you in court, charge you court costs and interest, and record a lien on your property. In some cases, prosecution can be initiated with arrest.
In a majority of unemployment compensation fraud cases, when a person makes full restitution for the overpayment, the chances of prosecution are drastically reduced, and generally they are not prosecuted. But, you would need an attorney to negotiate a payment plan with EDD as they will usually not negotiate this directly with you.
You only get a criminal record if you end up getting convicted. The decision to prosecute is at the sole discretion of the director of the agency. However, if the money is returned, the State has much less ground to pursue a claim. If you have more questions on the penalty for overpayment and unemployment fraud, ask a Lawyer on JustAnswer.
Yes. The chances of no prosecution or prosecution with a more lenient result are far greater if a person self-reports and has the money to pay back on-the-spot or through a repayment plan. It is best to have a criminal defence attorney to help handle the self-reporting to make sure that there are no misrepresentations when you file — such as, your disclosure being construed as confession to fraud.
You are allowed to work part-time while receiving benefits. If you work less than four days in a week, you may receive partial benefits. Each day or part of a day of work could result in your weekly benefit rate being reduced. Receiving partial benefits extends the length of time you may collect benefits until you receive your maximum benefit amount or until your benefit year ends, whichever comes first.
You could be considered to be employed if you are engaged in operating or starting a business either by yourself, with a partner or in a corporate arrangement. Time spent during the day or evening or on weekends preparing to start or actually operating a business may be considered employment even though no sales are made nor any compensation received.
Unemployment fraud is a serious offence that can even result in imprisonment. As citizens, the onus of being on the right side of the law is normally on us. With the laws differing from state to state and by circumstances, it can be difficult to be legally well informed at all times. Consulting a lawyer can be both expensive and time consuming. An option is to ask a lawyer on JustAnswer – you get quick answers, expert insights and can get recommended legal action.
For Joey_JD please Hi Fran, it's me OCD girl with some new questions. Short answers will suffice. A) In your professional opinion could you tell me any reasons why the new jersey case could still be open after I had been to court, did what they told me and my lawyer took me out to celebrate. I know you don't have a crystal ball and I know it will only be a guess but would you mind hazarding one. B) If I get convicted of a misdemeanor like the New York Theft thingie would I definitely then go to jail for the simple assault? (The new york crime would have probably have been committed before the NJ false accusation) C) If I get convicted in Germany of criminal defamation (would not get jail just a fine - I checked) would that automatically mean jail also? D) If I get probation and then get convicted of one of the things mentioned in B) and C) would that automatically then mean jail for the simple assault. E) Is Perjury considered a strike in the three strike law? F) Is a strike from another country considered a strike in the USA? I know these are stupid questions and I should not dwell but I am trying to get closure. A real quick answer to each one would be much appreciated. Thank you
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.