Vermont’s cost of unemployment insurance fraud during the pandemic “will be in the millions by the time this is all said and done,” Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington said.
The department said Friday that 90% of recent initial benefit claims had been fraudulent, prompting the department to shut down the online filing system earlier in the week.
An employee has brought the legal action, claiming the company failed to provide notice to employees 60 days in advance that it was ceasing operations.
Vermont’s labor commissioner said the federal directive could place Vermonters “in a significant overpayment status,” and called the request “unconscionable.”
The state is working to finalize validation of 180,000 new tax forms, after documents with incorrect personal information were recalled.
Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington said 80,000 to 90,000 people had received 1099s so far. About 55,000 of them received others’ information or had their own private information compromised.
In human terms, the nine-month crisis means that individuals, contractors, business leaders, and employees have had to adapt, and adapt again, as conditions have changed.
Vermont would be particularly hard hit by the layoffs. More than 1,100 Vermonters are due to be furloughed without pay for at least 30 days
More than 1,500 employees are expected to receive word of the action, which is prompted by the budgetary crisis at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Scott announced Friday that he had promoted Michael Harrington to serve as the labor department’s commissioner. He had served as interim commissioner since 2019.
Latest rash of fraudulent claims appears to be part of larger problem hitting many states, says interim commissioner
After an initial spike, the number of new claims is down for the sixth week in a row.
While some continue to wait to receive any payments at all, others who had started receiving benefits had their payments stop.
The restrictive format for these lengthy sessions provides no opportunity for an extended colloquy around an unclear statement or important revelation.