South Carolina Chosen to Help Lead Nation’s Initiative to Prevent Unemployment Fraud

South Carolina has been selected to help lead the nation’s efforts to improve Unemployment Insurance (UI) integrity commonly known as fraud and overpayment prevention.

The Palmetto State is one of five states chosen to serve on the steering committee for the newly formed UI Integrity Center of Excellence, which is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

Led by the New York Department of Labor, the Center of Excellence was created to identify promising techniques for deterring unemployment fraud, serve as a clearinghouse for information about fraud schemes and develop training and technology to help states share solutions and strategies.

“It is truly an honor to have been asked to serve on this national team along with Colorado, New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington,” said Abraham J. Turner, executive director of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW). “We look forward to working with our sister workforce agencies throughout the nation to tackle the issue of unemployment fraud head on and improve overall program integrity.”

DEW also was recently awarded $1.8 million from the Department of Labor to focus on fraud prevention and integrity promotion activities.

The grant provides funding for a series of projects designed to update technology and business processes therefore reducing the potential for error. These projects include:

  • Detecting workers who are misclassified as independent contractors or employees;
  • Automating eligibility and work search review processes;
  • Modernizing the appeals system through an updated case management system;
  • Creating an agency-wide team to improve fraud identification and prevention as well as collecting overpayments;
  • Automating tax processes to reduce paper and manual work; and,
  • Investing in software to detect employer fraud.