Missouri’s Unemployment Watchdogs Collect Nearly $14 Million To Benefit Workers And Employers


Jefferson City, MO (CompNewsNetwork) - The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) works to ensure only qualified, displaced workers receive unemployment benefits and to ensure Missouri employers are paying taxes owed in a timely manner, across the board.

The Department's Division of Employment Security (DES) today announced that in just the first six months of the year they collected $13,743,661.52 in unemployment insurance (UI) delinquent taxes, penalties, interest and overpayments from false or mistaken claims.

“Our aggressive efforts to fight waste and abuse across the board are saving money for taxpayers and sending a strong signal to anyone considering defrauding or abusing a state government program. Here is our message to the cheaters: We will find you and you will pay,” Gov. Matt Blunt said. “Missouri workers and businesses can be certain we will continue to aggressively uncover and root out those who attempt to cheat the unemployment insurance system.”

“Nearly $14 million in collections in just six months sends a strong message that there is no place for fraud in Missouri's Unemployment Insurance system, Gov. Matt Blunt said. “Missouri workers and businesses can be certain we will continue to uncover and root out those who cheat the system.” 

“Claimants who abuse the unemployment insurance system and employers who fail to properly pay their taxes in a timely manner create a burden on other Missouri employers,” said Todd Smith, DOLIR Director. “Our staff's collection efforts strengthen Missouri's unemployment insurance system, which benefits Missouri's workers and businesses.”

In the first half of 2008, the DES collected $8,158,060.77 in restitution from claimants who cheated the system or received benefits they should not have received. The total includes both overpaid benefits and monetary penalties. The Division investigates Missourians who allegedly have received improper unemployment benefits. The most common reasons for improper payment are the collection of UI benefits after returning to work, or concealing information on the weekly claim that would have made an individual ineligible for benefits.

In addition to overpaid benefits and investigating claimant fraud, the DES collects unemployment insurance delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest from employers. From January through June 2008, the Division collected $5,585,600.75 in delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest from employers. Penalties are imposed if an employer fails to file any required report by the specified due date. Interest accrues on contributions that are due and unpaid after each quarterly due date.

For more information regarding the Division of Employment Security or to report potential unemployment insurance fraud, call (573) 751-3215, or visit the Internet site www.dolir.mo.gov/es.

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