Florida Unemployment Fraud Penalties



You are able to work at a job and make a certain amount of money while still collecting unemployment benefits. When you apply for unemployment, this amount will be determined, and how this works will be explained to you by your unemployment counselor.



If you willingly collect unemployment benefits when you are not eligible for them, and when you don't meet all the requirements - this is considered unemployment fraud and there are stiff penalties for committing unemployment fraud.

Unemployment Fraud Penalties include some or all of the following:

1. Fine. You may have to pay back the unemployment money you collected (this is called restitution) and pay a large criminal fine.
2. Jail. You may be sent to jail if you are found guilty and convicted of unemployment fraud.
3. Probation.

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# Garrett 2011-08-17 15:09
I was arrested last night for unemployment fraud I have not collected a check since 2008. When the over payment came to my attention I talked to them and we came to an agreement to withhold my claims and put towards whet I owed now they are saying it was never went down that way. Any suggestions Thank you
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# Andrew 2011-11-05 09:48
I have been collecting unemployment since June of 2011, but I recently got a job on the 23rd of October, but wont get a paycheck until November 11th. I am supposed to be claiming my benefit weeks on November 8th, a few days before i get a paycheck from my new job.

My question is am i eligible to claim these weeks? I am in desperate need of money, but don't want to commit any kind of fraud. I really need the money, but don't want to go to jail if i am wrong about claiming the past weeks before my new job pays me.

Thank You
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# Zack 2011-11-15 16:39
@ Andrew. My advice to you, DO NOT claim that last week my friend. The exact same thing happened to me, and now i have a felony fraud case pending against me that i have to face. I collected 2 weeks at $500 i believe, and now i owed $200+ and i most likely get probabation and i need to find a lawyer etc. I needed the money to pay rent as it took 3 weeks before the first paycheck come. I wish i had gotten evicted then getting a felony record. Better off getting a loan somewhere man,
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# Sarah 2011-11-20 01:09
I was called sometime in January while working part time at a big corporation as a cashier and was told that I was owed some benefits from a prior claim. While on the phone, I told the claims person I was on an unpaid leave of absence that my employer made me sign up for, because i missed 3 consecutive days of work. My employer said I would be terminated if I didn't sign up for LOA.

Anyway, when the claims officer called in January, I had just started my LOA. I asked the claims officer if I could file a new claim since I was only hired on as part time and I told her I was on unpaid leave; she said I could, so I filed and was accepted for $84 each week. In the application I filled out online, I stated that I was on unpaid leave as well. I no longer am employed by this company because I could no longer work in the position I was hired for, (which is cashier in a 2 foot by 2 foot space, and it caused my legs to swell up like baloons due to lack of circulation,) but I kept trying to get them to switch my position to something else I could do for months so I could get back to work ASAP. HR wasnt very willing to help me and I asked my manager what the likely hood was of switching positions, and he said they were cutting peoples hours and letting people go, so I gave up on even trying to go back to that job.

I have fulfilled my work search requirements each week and I just received a phone call today from another Claims person stating that my previous employer contacted unemployment and gave them my signed Leave of Absence papers. He asked me if I was on leave during that time and I said yes, he asked if I was laid off and I said no, and I told him that it was my employers policy to be on leave after 3 days missed, and I told him that I could go back to work in another position but not the position I was hired for. I told the Unemployment claims man that HR said I would have to be released by my dr. I told them I was released but ONLY to work in another department, and showed them my return to work note. I was told my note wasn't sufficient. HR said I had to be released with no restrictions, which was impossible. I was given the run around by HR and by managers. Another manager told me they wouldn't be able to provide me with a stool if I were to return to my previous position if no other positions were available, so I had no idea what to do besides just look for another job.

The man from Unemployment that called today stated that Id receive a letter in the mail determining my eligibility, but to continue claiming weeks.

Is it considered fraud to be on a forced unpaid leave of absence and claim benefits? I figured having a job held for me was better than no job at all, and in the application for benefits, I stated that I was on leave, and as previously stated, I asked a claims officer first prior to applying again.

Shouldn't Unemployment Compensation have noticed on my application that I stated that I was on Leave and denied my benefits if I was not allowed to have them?

I told my employer I was able to do any job except that particular position, unless my health changed, which was not likely to happen in the near future. All I cannot do is stand in one spot.

I am very scared now because if I did break the law, I didn't mean to and I'm terrified that they're going to take me to jail. I've heard of others being arrested and I'm terrified ill be arrested over something I didn't intentionally do wrong.

Please contact me ASAP. THANKS

Please contact me ASAP
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# Wayne 2012-01-16 04:36
I am currently on Fl. unemployment,si nce April 2011.I broke my foot and ankle August 2011.I was put in a boot type cast but was still able to walk.Jan 2012 the doctor told me I was diabled and needed major surgery and I would not be able to walk unless I used crutches or a walker.Do I need to report this to unemployment? I filed for disability;can I still collect while my disability is pending?
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# Black 2012-01-18 21:04
No dont do it!!!!!!!!!!! I hurt my shoulder on the job and I clicked the "I was unable to perform my duties" box online and They immediately sent me a bill for all the unemployment I had recieved up to that point ( app. $5,000 ). I didnt get my check for about 2 months and I had to do an over the phone trial and explain evrything to clear it up. When all I had to do was click the "Yes" box..........
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# Julie 2012-01-19 15:04
I collected unemployment all year in 2011. I am not eligible for EIC on my taxes. There were a few weeks out of the year when I was switching tiers on my unemployment claim where either I wasn't paid the full amount or anything at all. My boyfriend has his own company. Is there a way I can report income from his company on my tax return so I can get EIC? He paid my car payment, insurance and groceries because unemployment wasn't enough to cover everything. Can I report that as income? If I do, will I be arrested for unemployment fraud? I'm desperately in need of money to hold me over until I get a job - I have kids to provide for. I'm depressed because I submit 20+ applications/resumes a week and can't find anything.
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# NICU Nurse 2012-04-15 13:23
So you want to lie and fraud the government and taxpayers to give you even more money that you aren't supposed to receive? Upstanding mothering skills!!!
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# Jean 2012-04-17 08:48
I just had a hearing with unemployment and the 2 other people. My most recent job is claiming fraud and overpayment. From my understanding I was putting in the right amount that needed to be put. I dont know what I did wrong. Im terrified I dont know what to do. Im looking for work at the moment and Im losing my apartment am I gonna be arrested, if they claim fraud. What do I do? I dont have money at the moment.
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# Karen 2012-07-25 15:03
I have been determined for committing fraud for unemployment collections. I was employed but was told by someone at their local office that if my net income was under 1250 that I could still claim benefits. Now I'm afraid that they will convicting me. I don't have a record. What's the worse case scenario if they find me guilty anyway?
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# nakia 2012-10-09 16:58
i was arrested yesterday for fraud i talk to them over the phone and had phone case i told them i was not trying to fraud them was a misunderstandin g and was more than wiling to pay back monies owed but never heard anything else from them until i was arrested can i still pay back monies and not get in trouble or is it too late
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# Antionette 2013-01-14 12:08
I have a retirement account that I would like to withdraw from to pay my property taxes, insurance and purchase a vehicle so I can get out and about to find employment. Is if okay to withdraw from a fund like this as I have had if for several years?

Please advise.

Thank you!
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# Tre 2013-01-23 21:09
was laid off in 2009, because of health problems. The owner told me I could file unemployment and gave me severance pay and cobra benefits, which lead me to believe I did a good job... then they wrote a nasty letter about me after I received all my unemployment benefits 6 months later but just found out as I checked my credit report when filing for an FHA mortgage loan... now gov't wants their 9k back. Hope there is an appeal process for jobs lost in 2009!
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# Makaveli 2013-01-27 03:07
Does any of you know whats the max you can make in az full time and receive unemployment. I was laid off in sep and just recently hired. MY previous position was 13 and now i make 9.35 so im trying to see if i can still receive money. I dont need people go off on me either. Its just hard to make it with what i have now let alone unemployment. Im single and have apt and bills so your input would be appreciated thx
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# Palella 2013-02-25 23:33
Daughter's boyfriend was arrested 1-20-13. He is still incarcerated. The boyfriends Mother is collecting his benefits. Is this fraud?
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# Chantele 2013-04-07 12:53
I worked for a large company for ten years I had surgery returned when I was suppose to and was terminated. This was in June of 2006 I was on unemployment and then re-employed. From 2007-2010 due to the Florida job situation I was on/off employed re-employed worked when jobs were available and some were only temporary positions. I was able to collect partial unemployment when only partime hours were offered. Florida unemployment said I was over paid and I have to pay back over $3,000. I turned everything in and also filled weekly as I was suppose to. I had telephone apts with unemployment and went over what I had because the one employer who reported this I had to sign into the computer for working hours and the employer only had copies of my time sheet. This wasn't made available to me so I had to go with what they had as my in/out. My question is when federal taxes are filed can unemployment intercept this money for repayment?? Is the only way to dispute what they have for hours/payment by hiring a attorney?? How do you handle this when you have no money???
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# Delisa 2013-08-25 16:43
Chantele, I was convicted of a third degree felony because I thought it was alright to work a part-time job and collect full unemployment benefits. It wasn't ok as it turned out. I got a bondman, turned myself in, went for the arraignment, then flew back to Florida a third time for court. I now owe $680.00 in court costs, had to use a public defender, have to serve 50 hours of community service and owe the state of Florida over $4,000. I'm telling you this not to scare you, but to warn you, so hopefully you will not have to go through what I am facing for the next 5 years of my life as a single unemployed mother and full-time student. I can expunge it in the future when everything is paid back and settled, so that a future employer would (hopefully) not be able to use it against me as grounds for not hiring/termination. I'm not sure if you can repay it using your tax return, but I would consult a tax expert or an attorney about that. An attorney can answer questions during a one time free consultation appointment. Confront it as soon as you can and ask to have your picture not placed on Google after you turn yourself in, if you have to. Good luck and God Bless.
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# Tonya 2013-06-17 22:35
Collected 2 Unemployment checks while working.. One was 275$ and one was 550$ how much trouble am I in? Dept of labor is aware and will be contacting me by phone or mail
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