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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE INTEGRITY
BENEFIT PAYMENT CONTROL

Benefit Accuracy Measurement

 

Benefit Payment Control

Tax Audits   UI Fraud

OVERVIEW

The Benefit Payment Control (BPC) unit protects the citizens and employers of Colorado and the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program by ensuring claimant and employer compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Among other roles, BPC is responsible for pursuing and collecting all overpayments to claimants. The overpaid monies are credited to employers’ UI tax accounts that were charged with the UI benefit payments and to the UI Trust Fund.

Most importantly, BPC monitors UI claims—past and present—to make sure benefits are properly paid. Through detection programs and random audits, BPC establishes overpayments and, when applicable, identifies and prevents acts of fraud by both claimants and employers.

Contact BPC

Frequently Asked Questions

FRAUD

Detecting and prosecuting fraud is a high priority for Colorado’s UI Program. As stated in the Colorado Employment Security Act 8-81-101, BPC has the authority to prosecute fraud.

A claimant who knowingly makes a false statement or withholds information to receive UI benefits is committing an act of fraud. The penalty for this type of fraud can include a 4-week postponement of future UI benefits for each week in which the person fraudulently requested the payment of UI benefits. A person who commits this type of fraud must also repay the entire amount of UI benefits fraudulently received and pay a monetary penalty of 50 percent of the total overpaid amount. Additional collection activities may include civil and criminal prosecution, including court costs, fines, and/or imprisonment.

An employer who knowingly makes a false statement or causes a false statement to be made as to the reason for a job separation from employment, which causes a delay in the proper payment of UI benefits to a claimant, is committing an act of fraud. An employer who commits this type of fraud is charged with one and one-half times the amount of UI benefits that should have been paid to the claimant during the period of delay and with 100 percent of all other UI benefits paid to the claimant thereafter during the claimant’s benefit year. These penalties are in addition to any civil and criminal prosecution, including court costs, fines, and/or imprisonment.

REPORTING FRAUD

If you know of an individual or a company that may be defrauding the UI Program and/or may warrant further investigation, please complete the online fraud-reporting form. The source of the information is kept confidential. To ensure successful and thorough investigations, you should provide as much detail as possible when completing the form.

Investigations are also conducted through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Office of Organizational Integrity, Investigations and Criminal Enforcement (ICE) unit. To ask questions or obtain further information about ICE, go to the ICE Web site.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Click on the links below to review frequently asked questions received from claimants and employers and about the appeals process.

By Claimants

By Employers

About Appeals

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY CLAIMANTS

What is an overpayment?

How do I appeal a decision that caused an overpayment?

How do I arrange a repayment agreement?

How do I request an overpayment waiver?

What if an overpayment is established while I am filing for unemployment insurance benefits?

What is an overpayment?

An overpayment occurs when UI benefits are paid to a claimant who is later determined to have not been eligible for or entitled to the payment of UI benefits. Because UI benefit payments were made to the claimant before the decision or action that changed his or her eligibility or entitlement, the UI benefits must be paid back to the UI Program.

Some of the common causes of overpayments include:

  • A hearing officer’s decision reverses a previous award of UI benefits.
  • A claimant is disqualified from receiving UI benefits due to being responsible for a job separation.
  • A claimant’s weekly and/or maximum UI benefit amount changes (a monetary redetermination is made) because his or her wage information was incorrect when the claim was initially filed.
  • A claimant fails to notify the UI Program that he or she does not meet the eligibility requirements.
  • A claimant and/or an employer fails to disclose that the claimant received vacation pay, severance pay, or other similar pay after a job separation.
  • A claimant fails to accurately report earnings and hours worked while filing for UI benefits.

How do I appeal a decision that caused an overpayment?

Most overpayments are established when a new Form UIB-6, Notice of Decision, is issued and mailed to a claimant. On the reverse side of the Notice of Decision, instructions are provided for filing an appeal. You have 20 calendar days from the date the decision was mailed to file an appeal. If the decision is not appealed within 20 calendar days, the decision is considered final.

If you fail to appeal within the 20-day time limit, a request to file a late appeal may be submitted to UI Appeals and must include the reasons why the appeal is being filed late. UI Appeals determines if you have provided good cause for filing a late appeal.

Form AS-25, Hearing Officer’s Decision, may be appealed to the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (ICAO). On the reverse side of the Hearing Officer’s Decision, instructions are provided for filing an appeal with ICAO. You have 20 calendar days from the date on the decision to file an appeal. If the decision is not appealed within 20 calendar days, the decision is considered final.

If you fail to appeal within the 20-day time limit, a request to file a late appeal may be submitted to ICAO and must include the reasons why the appeal is being filed late. ICAO determines if you have provided good cause for filing a late appeal.

Final Orders issued by the ICAO panel may be appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals. You have 20 days from the date on the ICAO decision to file an appeal. If the decision is not appealed within 20 days, the decision is considered final.

If you fail to appeal within the 20-day time limit, a request to file a late appeal may be submitted to the Colorado Court of Appeals and must include the reasons why the appeal is being filed late. The Colorado Court of Appeals determines if you have provided good cause for filing a late appeal.

For more information about the appeals process, read Publication AS-52, The Appeals Process, or call UI Appeals at 303-318-9299 (Denver-metro area) or 1-800-405-2338 (outside Denver-metro area).

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How do I arrange a repayment agreement?

In most circumstances, BPC will work with you to establish a repayment agreement. If you respond to the initial request for payment but cannot pay the total amount due, you may enter into a repayment agreement to pay back the overpayment amount in monthly installments. Repayment agreements may be scheduled for up to 36 months. The monthly payment amount is calculated based on the overpayment amount and the number of months scheduled for the repayment and cannot be less than $50. Overpayments that are established as a result of fraud are scheduled on a 24-month repayment plan. Contact BPC for more information about a repayment agreement.

If you respond to the initial request for payment and negotiate a repayment agreement with BPC, no interest or fees will be assessed on the amount due; however, if you fail to respond to the initial request for payment and the account becomes delinquent, the overpayment is transferred to the state’s collection agency, Central Collection Services (CCS).

CCS can assess interest and fees, report delinquent accounts to the credit-reporting agencies, initiate civil prosecution, and seize state income-tax refunds.

How do I request an overpayment waiver?

If you are overpaid due to a reporting error or an administrative error, you may apply for an overpayment waiver.

NOTE: If you are overpaid due to fraud, you are not permitted to apply for an overpayment waiver.

The decision to waive an overpayment is based on your financial situation and whether it would be inequitable to require you to pay back the overpaid UI benefits.

After the 15-day timeframe to appeal a Notice of Decision has passed, Form UIB-477 (or B-477), Notice of Overpayment of Benefits, is mailed to you. If you are unable to pay back the overpayment, waiver sections III and IV on the reverse side of the Notice of Overpayment of Benefits should be completed and mailed to BPC for consideration.

Alternatively, Form B-491, Waiver Request, can be completed and mailed to BPC for consideration. The Waiver Request is not the appropriate form for disagreeing with the action that caused the overpayment. You must file an appeal of the decision that caused the overpayment.

Once the information is reviewed by BPC, a letter is mailed to you informing you of the outcome of the waiver request. Eligibility for an overpayment waiver is based on your financial situation only and is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

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What if an overpayment is established while I am filing for unemployment insurance benefits?

If an overpayment is established while you are filing for UI benefits, the overpaid amount is deducted from UI benefit payments that are requested via the Colorado Unemployment Benefits Line (CUBLine) or CUBLine Online until the overpayment is paid in full. One hundred percent of each UI benefit payment is deducted until the overpaid amount is recovered. Deductions are made only after your opportunity to appeal has expired.

If you have an overpayment balance and open a new claim for UI benefits, the overpaid amount is deducted from your new claim’s UI benefit payments. Up to 25 percent of a UI benefit payment can be deducted for this purpose.

If an overpayment is a result of fraud, 100 percent of each UI benefit payment is deducted until the fraud overpayment is recovered. Penalties assessed on fraud overpayments are not deducted from UI benefit payments. You are responsible for paying the penalties.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY EMPLOYERS

What is Form UIB-144, Request to Employer for Earnings Data, and why should I complete it?

What is the New Hire program?

What is Form UIB-144, Request to Employer for Earnings Data, and why should I complete it?

Form UIB-144, Request to Employer for Earnings Data, is mailed to you on a quarterly basis requesting additional earnings information for claimants who have received or are receiving UI benefits. A quarterly review of wages reported and benefits paid is completed to identify possible unreported earnings. You are asked to provide specific weekly earnings so that BPC can determine whether the claimant is reporting his or her earnings accurately.

What is the New Hire program?

The National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) was established under a federal law requiring employers to report all newly hired employees for the purpose of locating individuals who are delinquent in paying child support. State UI programs use the NDNH database to perform cross matches using new-hire information and current UI claim information. Claimants attempting to receive UI benefits while earning wages are quickly identified. The BPC unit contacts employers to verify hire dates and wage information. The BPC unit establishes overpayments and enforces penalties for claimants who fail to report earnings while receiving UI benefits.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT APPEALS

Does filing an appeal stop collection of the overpayment?

If I appeal a decision, do I need an attorney?

I did not receive the appeal hearing notice and did not attend the hearing. What should I do now?

For more information about the appeals process, read Publication AS-52, The Appeals Process, or call UI Appeals at 303-318-9299 (Denver-metro area) or 1-800-405-2338 (outside Denver-metro area).

Does filing an appeal stop collection of the overpayment?

The UI Program suspends the collection of the overpayment only if the claimant files a timely appeal of the decision that caused the overpayment. Upon receipt of a timely appeal, UI Appeals schedules a hearing, and collection of the overpayment remains suspended until the hearing takes place and the hearing officer issues a written decision.  If a hearing officer dismisses a hearing due to the appealing party’s failure to participate, the overpayment-collection process resumes.

If I appeal a decision, do I need an attorney?

You are not required to have an attorney to participate in the appeal hearing, which is an administrative proceeding. The majority of parties do not have an attorney representing them. However, only you can decide whether you need an attorney. The UI Program does not provide an attorney for hearings.

I did not receive the appeal hearing notice and did not attend the hearing. What should I do now?

If you do not participate in the hearing as the nonappealing party, the hearing officer holds the hearing as scheduled if the appealing party participates.  The hearing officer then issues a written decision based upon the testimony and evidence provided by the appealing party. UI Appeals mails you a copy of the hearing officer’s decision.  If you do not agree with the decision, follow the appeal instructions found at the end of the hearing officer’s decision.

If you do not participate in the hearing as the appealing party, the hearing officer dismisses the hearing regardless of whether the nonappealing party attends the hearing; the deputy’s decision remains in effect. The hearing officer issues Form AS-7a, Notice of Dismissal for Failure to Participate, and you (the appellant) have 20 calendar days, from the date of the dismissal notice, to appeal the dismissal. Your appeal must include an explanation or reason for your failure to participate in your hearing. If you establish good cause, UI Appeals reschedules the hearing and notifies all interested parties of the new hearing date and time.

CONTACT US

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
Unemployment Insurance Integrity, Benefit Payment Control
P.O. Box 8789
Denver, CO 80201-8789
303-318-9035 (Denver-metro area)
1-877-464-4622 (outside Denver-metro area)
Fax: 303-318-9037
E-mail: UIBPC.CDLE@state.co.us

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All Applicable Rights Reserved, Copyright 2004 Colorado Department of Labor and Employment