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Fighting Unemployment Fraud to Help Grow Jobs

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Last Revised: 2/8/2012

Enhanced Enforcement Will Protect Unemployment Integrity, Punish Fraud, Save Tax Dollars

CHICAGO - Garnishing tax returns of people wrongfully collecting unemployment insurance benefits is among the initiatives to increase tax fairness and reduce operating costs for businesses, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today. The programs are part of Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to improve the state's climate for job creation and strengthen the Illinois economy.

"Protecting taxpayer dollars is our top priority at the Illinois Department of Employment Security. These anti-fraud measures will save businesses millions of dollars in taxes over the long term," IDES Director Jay Rowell said. "This is just one part of our new IDES plan which is focused on safeguarding taxpayer dollars and getting people back to work."

Thwarting scammers from collecting unemployment benefits when they already have a job will save $40 million each year. Additionally, IDES will seek to garnish federal tax returns to recover $158 million from individuals who refused to enter into a payment plan. More than $1 million already has been collected when individuals were notified that their returns would be garnished.

The programs are part of Gov. Quinn's bi-partisan reforms that are expected to save businesses more than $400 million, provide 16 percent unemployment insurance tax reductions for companies that did not lay off workers and punish those that defraud the unemployment insurance program.

Unemployment insurance benefits are funded through business contributions. Preventing fraud and recovering improper payments protects taxpayer dollars and reduces the cost of doing business, which creates a climate more conducive to hiring.

The IDES supports economic stability by administering unemployment benefits, collecting business contributions to fund those benefits, connecting employers with qualified job seekers, and providing economic information to assist career planning and economic development. It does so through nearly 60 offices across the state, including the Illinois workNet Centers.