What do Prisoners & Millionaires Have in Common?

First, a warm up question: Who takes longer to find work after filing for unemployment compensation, Millionaires or Prisoners? This is actually a trick question because prisoners don’t qualify for unemployment.  Prisoners, by being incarcerated, fail to meet the standard of “ready for work” or “actively looking for work.” Yet, unemployment has been paid to prisoners, sparking a nation-wide crackdown on such fraudulent payments.  Millionaires are another story.  Hey, who isn’t ready or actively looking to be hired as a Millionaire?   How many Millionaires “qualified” for unemployment benefits when the financial markets hit the skids during the recent Great Recession?  Even in the face of separation packages in the millions of dollars, many institutions paid out unemployment benefits to very high wage earners.  Despite the clamor over the unemployment  insurance expenses for these two groups, the slowest legal group of claimants to return to work, and the receivers of the largest proportion of overpayments in the unemployment system constitute a third group; the Average Claimants whose household made under $50,000 per year. The majority of unemployment insurance payments – around 70 percent — go to these households, a figure recently reported by Bloomberg. Here’s a math test: If in any given year there happen to be 1,000,000 Average Claimants  (households earning under $50k) who happen to misfile beneficially and are consequently overpaid by $1,000 each, then how much systemic overpayment is that? That’s right. One billion dollars. Indeed, Department of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2012 overpayments nationally topped $4.8 billion. The waste basket was already full.

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UTCA Gets a Big Texas Welcome from the Lone Star state!

Arlington, TX, July 24th 2013 – UTCA was warmly received by a large group of Dallas/Fort Worth area employers as UTCA presented their program “Clearing the Fog: Avoiding the Hidden Unemployment Cost Trap”.  Kicking off the introduction, the Dallas Regional Chamber welcomed UTCA with a commemorative plaque and ribbon-cutting ceremony.  Venerated unemployment expert, Atty. Tim Phelan, engaged the audience, enlightening them on sweeping changes to employer penalties and accountability mandated by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011 (TAAEA).  Atty. Phelan stressed to employers the importance of examining their programs to assess process risks, whether managed in-house or by a third party administrator.

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UTCA Kicks Off National Program on New Law Changes & TPA Accountability

Glastonbury CT, May 9, 2013 – In keeping with their corporate mission to educate the UI marketplace nationally, UTCA introduced the first of it’s kind employer program; Clearing the Fog, Avoiding the Unemployment Cost Trap, in Glastonbury, CT at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center. Employer participants learned how to better manage their unemployment programs using objective key metrics introduced to the market by UTCA. The program also reviewed effective measures to avoid new penalties associated with the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act (TAAEA), including improving vendor accountability, transparency and contractual protections necessitated by this new federal mandate.

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Learn How to Reduce Unemployment Costs Through Outplacement Programs

UTCA’s March Topic of the Month outlines how to use outplacement programs to reduce on-going unemployment costs.  Many employers believe when a claim has been approved and they’ve chosen not to appeal, there is nothing further they can do to reduce or eliminate payments on a claim. Although there are no absolutes, opportunities exist for the efficient and proactive employer to continue to reduce their own UI liability beyond individual case management practices.

The full Topic of the Month is available to UTCA clients in the On-line Learning section of the website.  If you would like to obtain a full copy of this release please email info@utcainc.com

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Record Overpayments Prompt Penalties for Employers and Their Unemployment Vendors

Springfield MA, March 19, 2013 – Billions in Unemployment Insurance overpayments recorded nationwide, have prompted the Federal Government to mandate state agencies to levy significant penalties on employers and their agents.  In an effort to combat egregious claim processing errors and omissions (resulting in overpayments) effective October 21, 2013, employers and TPA’s must ensure claim response protocols meet new standards associated with timeliness and accuracy.  A single failure to do so, or a pattern of failure, will incur loss of account credits or repayment funds currently provided. States have also been granted the ability to assess monetary and criminal penalties against employers and agents alike. 

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