State offices and all DLLR physical locations will be closed to the public December 24 & December 25, 2014. However, Unemployment Insurance telephone and Web operations WILL be available on Wednesday, December 24.

DLLR's Division of Unemployment Insurance

 

Special Request for Employee’s Weekly Earnings Report of Hire Audit Letter - Unemployment Insurance Claimants

 

If you have received a letter stating, "Important Notice, your current employer has reported that you have been working…", it is regarding an audit of your Maryland Unemployment Insurance claim.

  1. Why am I being audited?
  2. What happens during the audit?
  3. I am not employed or working. How have I been reported?
  4. Will I still be eligible to file while the audit is being conducted?
  5. I am working while filing. What should I do?
  6. If my employer provides wages, what will happen during this audit?
  7. Separation and Fraudulent Issues
  8. How do I repay my overpayment?
  9. How can I contact this agency regarding this audit?

Why am I being audited?
The State of Maryland currently runs programs called the Maryland New Hire Registry and the National Directory for New Hires. When a new employee has been hired, the employer is required by law to report the new employee and the hire date. Different state agencies utilize this information. The Division of Unemployment Insurance uses the information to determine if someone is currently employed while continuing to file for unemployment insurance benefits. This Important Notice indicates that the Division of Unemployment Insurance is conducting an audit to ensure your compliance with Maryland laws that govern Unemployment Insurance.

What happens during the audit?
Along with your audit notification letter, your employer has been sent an employment and wage verification form. The letter asks for your first physical date on the job, as well as any earnings you might have had. Although your employer may have initially reported a hire date or an interview date, this agency will be asking for your first "physical date" of work. If you have been hired, but have not yet begun employment, your employer may have reported that hire date, but the audit form will verify your first physical date of employment.

This audit will also determine if you have earned any wages with this company. Please note: wages are to be reported when earned, not when paid. A booklet was mailed to you when you first filed for UI, called "What You Should Know about Unemployment Insurance in Maryland". Please refer to the booklet for specific guidelines on how to report wages while filing. The fourth question when you file your continued claim through Telecert/Webcert asks, "Did you work, or earn any wages, whether or not you were paid, during the week." If you realize that you have in fact worked, earned wages, and neglected to report those earnings, you may have an overpayment of benefits, for benefits received that you were not entitled to.  You should contact the Benefits Payment Control (BPC) Unit at once at 410-767-2404.

It is important to note that, if you start working full-time, you are not entitled to benefits. If you work part-time during any week you claim benefits, you may be eligible for partial benefits, however, you must report your gross earnings to determine the correct amount of benefits you are entitled to. If you are employed, part-time or full-time during your Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim, and become separated from that employment, your separation must be reported and adjudicated to continue your entitlement to UI benefits.  Contact the Claimant Information Services at 410-949-0022 or 1-800-827-4839.

I am not employed or working. How have I been reported?
If you have only registered with a temporary agency, signed up as a substitute teacher, or have had an interview, your employer may have reported this date as a hire date. When the wage verification form is returned by the employer, they will indicate that you have not actually started working, and will indicate if you have a tentative start date. If you have not had employment with the company that has reported you having worked, this audit will determine that there is no issue with your Unemployment Insurance benefits. There is also the possibility that the employer, who provided the New Hire Registry information, simply made an error in the Social Security number he or she provided.

Will I still be eligible to file while the audit is being conducted?
While this audit is being conducted, it will not affect the receipt of your Unemployment Insurance benefits. However, if any information is found to provide evidence that you are working, filing for UI benefits, and failed to inform the Unemployment Insurance office when you filed your continued claim through Telecert/Webcert, you may have an overpayment of benefits. Other penalties may also be assessed during the course of this audit that could affect these, and future benefits. Keep in mind that all eligibility requirements must be met each week for which you file your Unemployment Insurance claim. You must be able and available for work each week that you file, and you must be in compliance with your work search contract as indicated when you filed your initial claim.

I am working while filing. What should I do?
If you are working full-time, you are not entitled to benefits and must stop filing immediately. If you are working temporarily or part-time, you may be eligible for partial benefits. If you start working, you must report your gross earnings for the week in which you physically worked and earned wages. You may earn up to $50.00 per week before any deductions are made from your Unemployment Insurance check. Any amount earned over $50.00 will be subtracted from your check, on a dollar for dollar basis. You must report your total gross earnings each week when earned, even if less than $50. The automated benefit system will make the allowed deductions. If your part-time earnings equal or exceed your weekly benefits amount, no benefits will be paid for that week. If this happens, you must contact your Claim Center to reactivate your claim for the following week to determine if you are still eligible for benefits. Please refer to the Unemployment Insurance booklet on specific filing guidelines.

If my employer provides wages, what will happen during this audit?
When your employer returns the audit form, any wages that you have earned will be data entered into the Unemployment Insurance system.

If you have filed benefits properly, and reported all gross earnings accurately, you may not have an overpayment. In that case, if you have been found to be in compliance with all Maryland Unemployment Insurance Laws, the audit will be concluded and you will not receive further notification.

If you have filed for benefits, and have not reported earnings, you may have an overpayment of benefits. The overpayment will be determined by the amount of your earnings. If you earned under $50.00, you will not have an overpayment for that week. If you earned over $50.00, but under your weekly benefit amount, you will be held overpaid for any amount over $50.00. If you earned over your weekly benefit amount, you were not entitled to benefits that week, and will be held overpaid the full amount of that UI check.

If you knowingly made false statements, misrepresented or omitted information to obtain or increase benefits, it will be considered fraud. If fraud is determined in your case, you may be criminally prosecuted, fined up to $1000.00 and/or imprisoned. You will also be denied the right to receive Unemployment Insurance for one year.

Separation and Fraudulent Issues
In addition to overpayments, if any other issues are detected during the course of this audit, this agency will review your eligibility of benefits. If a job separation and/or fraud issue was detected, your claim will be held until we can complete an investigation. If an issue jeopardizing your claim eligibility is created, you will be scheduled for a Telephone Fact-Finding Interview by mail. You will be instructed to be available at a specific time and date to discuss any issues with an agency representative. After the interview, a written decision will be rendered regarding the issue. Any penalties assessed will be noted on the decision. Appeal and overpayment waiver rights are clearly indicated on the written determination. If you will not be available for the interview, follow the instructions as indicated on the interview notice to contact the agency. You may continue to file you're your continued claim through Telecert/Webcert during any investigation, however, no benefits will be paid until it is determined that you have met all requirements. Your Telecerts/Webcert will be recorded, and if benefits are allowed, all back weeks will be paid once the issue is adjudicated.

How do I repay my overpayment?
Once an overpayment has been assessed, you will be notified of the amount overpaid, and the cause of the overpayment. If you are currently eligible for further UI benefits, those benefits will be used to off-set the overpayment until it is recovered in full. This will continue as long as you are eligible for benefits, file timely claims and are in compliance with all unemployment insurance regulations. If you have returned to work or are no longer eligible to receive UI benefits, you should review the repayment agreement that will be mailed to your current mailing address. This repayment agreement will provide the terms in which to repay the money owed. This agency asks that repayment installments be paid monthly if you are unable to repay the amount in full immediately. The monthly amount requested will be listed on your repayment agreement.

How can I contact this agency regarding this audit?
If you have any further questions regarding the Report of Hire Audit, please call the Inquiry and Correspondence Unit at 410-949-0022 (select option 2), Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST. If you have any correspondence other than a billing statement, please mail it to the following address:

Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Division of Unemployment Insurance
Inquiry and Correspondence Unit
1100 N. Eutaw St., Room 206
Baltimore, MD 21201