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Boscola Bulletin

Unemployment Compensation Virtual Townhall

Mark your calendar for TOMORROW, May 28, 2020 at 1:00pm.  The unemployment Compensation team will be hosting a LIVE virtual town hall to discuss Unemployment Compensation (UC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits – as well as take questions. 

LISTEN IN: www.access.live/PAlabor
ASK QUESTIONS: uctownhall@pa.gov (only for townhall questions)
CALL TO LISTEN: (833) 380-0719

Unemployment Compensation Virtual Townhall

Unemployment Compensation Fraud is a very serious matter. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is committed to preventing and identifying fraud or fraudulent scams. We encourage Pennsylvanians to remain vigilant and to report fraud or any potential concerns of fraud to L&I. 

L&I’s anti-fraud division has discovered recent attempts in which
scammers are utilizing personal information to apply for
 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.
No L&I systems or data have been compromised. 
The personal information was obtained from sources outside L&I.
 
Scammers are using this information to file for PUA benefits and
route the payments into their own bank accounts.

L&I mailed the Notice of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claim Filed 
to all claimants in the PUA system via U.S. mail on
Tuesday, May 26 to provide further guidance if they did not submit a PUA application.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants will receive PUA + Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments via paper checks as an added precaution. The Notice of PUA Filed was mailed due to our recent discovery of attempts by scammers using personal info obtained from sources other than L&I to apply for PUA.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Update

Returning Checks for Benefits for Which You Did Not Apply:

Anyone who receives a paper check in the mail and did not file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in Pennsylvania should not cash the checks. Cashing the checks knowing that you have not applied for PUA or any other UC program may be deemed fraud and repayment will be required. 

The checks should be returned to:

Department of Treasury Comptroller’s Office
Attn: Mark Accorsi
Room 113, Finance Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Anyone who receives a PUA direct deposit and did not file for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania should not use the funds. Using the funds knowing that you have not applied for PUA or any other UC program may be deemed fraud and repayment will be required. 

The funds should be returned to:

Department of Labor and Industry
651 Boas St, Room 500
Harrisburg, PA 17121

Payments must be made by personal check, cashier's check, certified check, or money order to the “PA UC Fund”.  Please include a brief signed statement with the reason you are sending in the payment and include your printed name, address, last four of your social security number, phone number and email address.  


Recognize and Avoid COVID-19 UC Scams 

Following are some warning signs of a possible COVID-19 scam:

  • For workers – receiving any type of correspondence that you filed an unemployment claim when you did not file a claim for benefits.
  • For employers – if you notice a claim has been filed for one or more of your employees who are still working.

In general, take these steps to protect yourself against unemployment scams:

  • Never give out your personal information over email or text message;
  • Don’t wire money, and always ignore the following requests:
      • Communications related to your UC benefits from someone asking for money;
      • Someone who says they can help you file for your benefits for a fee; and
      • Anyone claiming to work for L&I who says they need a fee to complete your application.
  • Don’t open or respond to unsolicited emails or text messages;
  • Never give out your personal information on websites or social media channels – especially those that claim they can help you apply for UC benefits. Third parties can’t apply for your benefits;
  • Don’t trust or rely on UC info from unofficial websites – always visit www.uc.pa.gov for Pennsylvania unemployment program information;
  • L&I may need to call you. If you file a claim, save the following unemployment phone numbers to your phone so you know you’re receiving a legitimate call from L&I:
      • 888-313-7284 – regular UC
      • 855-284-8545 – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) phone number

You will be asked for some personal identification information including the last four digits of your Social Security number if you are contacted by the Department of Labor & Industry, but they will not ask for your full SSN unless you call us.

Recognize and Avoid COVID-19 UC Scams 


Reporting Fraud

Report fraudulent activity regarding Pennsylvania’s UC benefits:

Online

  • Identity theft – if you suspect or know that someone is using your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, or date of birth without your knowledge or consent to file for UC benefits, complete and submit the Identity Theft Form.  
  • Unemployment claims fraud – if you know of individuals who are collecting UC benefits illegally, including people who are working and not reporting their wages for PA UC benefit purposes; or people who cannot work due to an illness, disability or incarceration, complete and submit the Unemployment Claims Fraud Form.

Phone

  • PA Fraud Hotline – 1-800-692-7469

Police

  • File a police report with the municipality you resided in at the time the unemployment benefits in question were paid. A copy of the police report must be provided to the Office of Unemployment Compensation.

If you are a victim of identity theft you may also report it to the Federal Trade Commission and start a recovery plan at https://www.identitytheft.gov/.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office has also provided some helpful tips and instructions to consumers to check your credit more often through the COVID-19 emergency.

Thank you

During these unprecedented times, the Department of Labor & Industry Unemployment Compensation employees and customer service representatives have been working around the clock – 7 days a week! – to help ALL Pennsylvanians.  I would like to say THANK YOU. 
In addition, I know it has been a frustrating time for many who have not received payments, been trying to file weekly claims with no responses, and constant busy signals or delayed response times from the Department – I would also like to say THANK YOU to you, as well.  Thank you for your patience.  I assure you, the Department is working to respond to every call, email and legislative inquiry placed every day.

If I am able to help you in any way, please feel free to contact my office at (610) 868-8667 or boscola@pasenate.com.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

www.senatorboscola.com

BETHLEHEM OFFICE
One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
EASTON OFFICE
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
(610) 250-5629
Fax: (610) 250-1889
HARRISBURG OFFICE
458 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
(717) 787-4236
Fax: (717) 783-1257
Senate of PA:
1-800-364-158 (TTY)