Unemployment misrepresentation is the new unemployment fraud. If you are new to either of these phrases, let me explain.
Prior to the year 2017, the unemployment office made a distinction between fraud and non fraud overpayments. As of the date of this post, the unemployment office (or DEED) is now using the phrase “misrepresentation” to impose scare tactics and crazy monetary penalties.
Luckily, people are seeking help to identify how they should proceed with an overpayment, audit, or accused of unemployment misrepresentation.
New Law for Unemployment Misrepresentation
Really, the law is edited versus new. Minnesota’s unemployment office has been using the rules to attach ridiculous penalties for a long time. Here is what Minnesota statute 268.18 says right now:
An applicant has committed misrepresentation if the applicant is overpaid unemployment benefits by making a false statement or representation without a good faith belief as to the correctness of the statement or representation
In my experience, I found the 2016 law more advantageous for Applicants. Really, the issue for the majority of people impacted by this law will be figuring out when a decision (whether from DEED or an unemployment law judge) became final.
For some, the old rule still applies. For many others, the new law will be more impactful. Thus, it is worth the effort to have a case reviewed.
Unemployment Misrepresentation Penalties
For those who have dealt with unemployment misrepresentation or fraud before, one can quickly see that Minnesota still charges a 40% penalty. In other words, if DEED claims a person was overpaid $100 dollars in benefits, they will be charged $140 dollars.
I agree their 40% penalty is unfair and it might even breach usury laws outlined in the Christian Bible. But, focusing one’s time on finding a way to remove the misrepresentation claim is going to be more productive.
Where Do Most Misrepresentation Cases Start?
There isn’t one specific area. But, a lot of unemployment misrepresentation claims start from an audit or overpayment case. Usually, these types of issues being with a questionnaire.
Unfortunately, everybody is at risk of being audited. Here are a few popular issues:
Proving Unemployment Misrepresentation
When an applicant or worker is unprepared, the State of Minnesota has the upper hand. Luckily, if an Applicant understands what they are trying to accomplish, I believe a lot of people can turn a bad outcome into a good outcome.
For those willing to take the time, literally, every detail needs to be explored. This means scrutinizing why a job ended, the application for benefits process, and each week of benefits sought.
For those needing help, please contact me directly.