Date: August 24, 2020
Media Contact: Cisco Gamez
AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) asks for employers to help to prevent unemployment benefit overpayments by reporting employees receiving wages through Paycheck Protection Program loans or who refused acceptable work to TWC.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to date, Americans have lost approximately $77 million in fraud to date, related to COVID-19, including federal aid programs and unemployment benefits.
To protect Program Integrity, TWC is asking employers to assist in preventing unemployment fraud by reporting employees who are currently, (or have in the past), received wages through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, and are also receiving (or have received in the past) unemployment benefits during the same period. Employers can email the information to TWC at PPPreporting.BPC@twc.state.tx.us, and are asked to provide the employee’s name and last four digits of their Social Security number if available.
Receiving payments through PPP loans may disqualify claimants from receiving unemployment benefits under the regular program or the CARES Act UI Programs. There are multiple ways the receipt of these funds could impact UI eligibility, including whether the individual remains unemployed, or partially unemployed, or whether the individual has reportable income.
Promptly reporting suspected fraud to TWC can not only help protect Texas businesses, but also employees who need benefits. Failure to report information to TWC may negatively impact charges to an employer’s account on future unemployment claims.
In addition, employers are also asked to report employees who refused work. These instances can be reported through a dedicated Employee Work Refusal Portal. Refusal to work may impact eligibility for benefits, though there are exceptions and TWC previously issued guidance to unemployment claimants on acceptable reasons to refuse suitable work. Each case is reviewed individually by TWC to determine benefit eligibility.
TWC would also like to remind employers to carefully review any Notices of Application for Unemployment Benefits or Notice of Maximum Potential Chargeback they receive for accuracy.
If a business receives a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits or Notice of Maximum Potential Chargeback from TWC (both pictured below) for an employee who has not separated from employment, or if the notice has incorrect separation information, employers should respond to the notice as soon as possible through the UI Submission Upload- Employers only portal, Employer Benefits Services System, the TWC fraud hotline at 800-252-3642 or TWC.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.