House Labor and Industry Committee Remains Tough on Unemployment Compensation Fraud by Approving Grove Bill
3/13/2013

HARRISBURG – The House Labor and Industry Committee Tuesday approved Rep. Seth Grove’s (R-Dover) House Bill 403, which would increase penalties on individuals who commit willful fraud to obtain unemployment compensation benefits. 

“The unemployment compensation system is a great safety net program for individuals who lose their jobs,” said Grove.  “Unfortunately, there have been many cases of people who fraudulently claim benefits to the detriment of the taxpayers who fund the program.  The Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund was structurally bankrupt, which led us to pass two laws in the past session to overhaul the system.  We are continuing to go after fraud and improve the program so we can ensure it will be here in the future.”

House Bill 403 would increase the monetary penalty from its current range of $100-$1,000 to $500-$1,500 for claimants who knowingly make false statements to obtain unemployment benefits.  It also increases the minimum number of penalty weeks from two to 10 and removes the current four-year statute of limitations.  Additionally, it would allow for penalties to be collected through liens, civil action or any other means available by law for up to 12 years after the end of the benefit year.     

In response to the number of cases of fraud by incarcerated claimants, Grove’s legislation also would impose a 52-week penalty for claimants who illegally apply for benefits while in prison. 

Grove noted that a new program implemented at the beginning of the year to catch county prison inmates wrongfully collecting benefits uncovered $6 million in this type of fraud in only the first month it was used.  The program was anticipated to save $12 million in its first year.  

“It is great that we are catching this type of fraud, and this is a program we can be proud of,” said Grove.  “I don’t want to just catch people in the act.  I want to make sure we have penalties in place to deter other inmates from trying to game the system.  I want them to think twice before they commit fraud.”  

House Bill 403 will now go before the full House for consideration.   

More information about Grove’s legislative priorities is available at www.RepGrove.com and www.Facebook.com/RepSethGrove.   

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Nicole Wamsley
717.783.8063
nwamsley@pahousegop.com
Share |