BOISE — The Idaho Department of Labor has partnered with ID.me for unemployment insurance claimant identity verification.

The information gathered from claimants is needed to make sure others are not filing claims using the person’s name and other personally identifying information. This is one step Labor is taking to help prevent fraud.

Thousands upon thousands of unemployment insurance claims have been filed by scammers using false or stolen identities across the country. 

It is estimated these scammers have siphoned off $36 billion in fraudulent unemployment payments from states since the start of the pandemic and the implementation of the CARES Act. 

The Labor Department made the decision to partner with ID.me to help prevent this fraudulent activity in Idaho. “We realize it’s an extra step in the claims filing process, but we believe it’s necessary to ensure only those individuals eligible for benefits receive them,” said Labor Director Jani Revier. “Making sure only valid claims are paid helps keep unemployment insurance tax rates low for employers and protects the UI trust fund.”

Claimants who are sent an email and letter from Labor about identity verification are required to verify their identity through the ID.me application, which can be accessed online with a laptop, desktop computer or cell phone. The claimant has 14 days to verify the information. The ID.me application will also be available in Spanish.

In addition to entering a phone number for a mobile phone verification, claimants will have the option to either answer questions about credit history or upload a photo of their government ID. If those methods do not work, claimants can verify their identity by speaking with an ID.me representative on a video call.

More information can be found on the department’s blog idahoatwork.com.

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