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What is UI Fraud and What are the Consequences?
What is Unemployment Insurance Fraud?
Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a safety net program that provides temporary income support for qualified unemployed workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own. Everyone who collects UI benefits is legally responsible for making sure they meet and follow eligibility requirements as set by New Mexico state law. It is a crime to intentionally provide false information about your salary or work history, or to knowingly collect UI benefits based on inaccurate information.
UI fraud costs everyone money. It drives up UI taxes for businesses, impacts honest people with legitimate jobless claims, and it puts a strain on New Mexico’s unemployment trust fund.
Examples of UI Fraud
- An individual returns to work but continues to collect UI benefits.
- An individual works a part-time job but does not report his or her earnings to the state, thereby collecting more benefits than he or she is allowed.
- An individual performs temporary work while collecting UI benefits but does not report the earnings when filing his or her weekly claim.
- An individual holds back information or gives false information to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
What are the consequences?
People who commit UI fraud face serious penalties, including:
- Prosecution by government authorities
- Possible jail or prison sentences
- Liens placed on property
- Forced repayment of improperly collected UI benefits – plus penalties and fines
- Garnished wages
- Forfeiture of future income tax refunds
- Ineligibility to collect UI benefits in the future
If you have information or would like to report UI fraud activity, please call the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions UI fraud line at 505-24-FRAUD (505-243-7283).
If you think you may have committed UI fraud, call the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions immediately at 1-877-664-6984. A Customer Service Agent will listen to you and help you address the issue.