Hawaii To Receive $1.215m To Combat Fraud and Identity Theft In Unemployment Insurance Claims

Last month, the Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced the $1.215 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help prevent fraud and identity theft in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs.

The grant will be used to assist DLIR with administrative expenses, new identity verification process and upgrading current identity verification tools.

“We quickly acted to obtain this funding as our teams are battling UI fraud on all fronts as we continue to build out the many new programs implemented by Congress last year, particularly the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program,” said Anne Perreira-Eustaquio, DLIR Director.

According to the press release, DLIR “have struggled to balance enormous workloads while simultaneously implementing and administering new programs for workers typically not eligible for benefits” since the enactment of the COVID-19 relief package.

Moreover, fraudsters were able to find a way to take advantage of the agency’s current challenges. The press releases states that there has been “significantly more fraudulent attacks while new schemes emerge daily.”

Perreira-Eustaquio warns residents to always keep an eye out.

“We are asking Hawaii residents to be vigilant of their credit information and help us combat the fraudsters who are unlawfully taking funds from the UI program,” she explained.

“This is a critical issue that is plaguing labor departments across the United States involving local, state, and even international criminals at times.” 

To learn more about identity theft, visit www.identitytheft.gov. For more information about unemployment insurance, visit www.labor.hawaii.gov.

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