Overview

Benefit Accuracy Measurement (BAM) program is a quality control program required by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).  Under this program, TWC audits unemployment benefit claims to help control errors and fraud in the unemployment benefits program.  The results of these audits allow TWC to assess the accuracy of benefit payments and improve the integrity and efficiency of the unemployment benefits system.

Each week, DOL selects a sample of unemployment benefit claims for the BAM audit. Claims are selected at random rather than because of any action, or inaction, by the claimant or employer. BAM auditors review the claim to determine whether benefits were properly paid or denied according to federal and state law and policy.

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Notification of and Participation in Audit

Claims are selected, at random, after a particular week has passed and was either paid or denied benefits. The audit does not indicate the claimant or employer did anything wrong or that there is a problem with the claim. The BAM audit is simply a way to review the quality of the actions performed on the claim.

If selected for a BAM audit, an auditor will contact you by phone or mail to complete the BAM questionnaire.

Employer Required Action

It is important to respond to inquiries and provide the requested information. If the audit is related to a claim that paid benefits, most of the information requested will be payroll information. The auditor may ask for a report of the claimant’s gross wages by pay date going back to the start of the claimant’s base period. This information will be compared to the wage amounts reported by you on the quarterly wage reports. You will be asked to provide general employment information about the claimant that is required by DOL, details on the claimant’s job separation, any separation pay (severance or wages in lieu of notice), and, if applicable, pension amounts. If the claimant reported contacting you as part of their work search efforts, you will be asked to verify whether the claimant inquired or applied for work.

Better detection of improper payments may result in reduced costs and may have a favorable impact on employer taxes. The program is also intended to reduce improper payments in the future. 

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Information Required for Audit

The type of information requested in a BAM audit will vary depending on whether the claim selected has paid benefits or denied benefits. To qualify for benefit payments, the claimant must have sufficient prior wages, be unemployed through no fault of their own, be able to and available for work as well as actively seeking work. The BAM auditor will contact you and provide specific details about the audit.

Audits are conducted by phone, fax, mail, or email. If the audit is on a claim that paid benefits, the auditor will request payroll records, the reason for the claimant’s job separation, and information on any separation pay (severance or wages in lieu of notice), and, if applicable, pension amounts the claimant received.  Wages are verified because the unemployment insurance benefit entitlement is based on previous earnings, length of employment, and current earnings. If the audit is on a claim where benefits were denied, the auditor will request payroll records and the reason for the claimant’s job separation. 

If the claimant reported contacting an employer as part of his or her work search efforts, the auditor will attempt to verify whether the claimant inquired or applied for work with that employer.

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How the BAM Program Benefits Employers

The audit makes certain that an unemployment claim was properly paid or denied. Better detection and collection of improper unemployment payments may result in reduced costs and may have a favorable impact on employer taxes.

The program is intended to reduce improper payments in the future by encouraging both claimants and employers to submit accurate information on the claim application.

You can assist TWC by participating in the BAM audit and promptly providing the requested information.

The BAM program is not meant to function as an appeal to a determination. If you disagree with a determination on a claim, you should follow the instructions for How to Appeal a Decision – Employer.

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Contact Information

If selected for a BAM audit, you should respond directly to the auditor who is assigned the case. If you are unsure who to contact, call the Benefits Accuracy Measurement Department at 512-475-0633 or email BAM@twc.state.tx.us.

Fax your completed questionnaire to 512-475-1182, or mail to:

TWC Benefits Accuracy Measurement

101 E. 15th Street, Room 302

Austin, TX 78778-0001

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Authority for Audit

The federal regulatory authority for the BAM program comes from 20 C.F.R. 602. The program is administered by TWC’s Benefits Accuracy Measurement department. Employers are required to maintain employment and payroll records that will allow TWC to conduct the duties required for the BAM audit. Claimants are required to respond to the agency when requested and provide records of work search efforts. There are penalties for refusing or failing to keep records required by the department, or for knowingly making false statements or reports. Records must be made available for an inspection by an auditor at any reasonable time.

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