Know the Rules

You commit fraud if you knowingly provide false or misleading information or withhold relevant information for yourself or another person, to obtain or increase benefits. Unemployment benefits fraud is punishable by law, both felony and misdemeanor, and violators could face serious penalties and consequences. Be aware that:

  • Failure to follow the rules can result in serious consequences.
  • You must respond truthfully and fully to all TWC inquiries.
  • In Texas, unemployment benefits fraud is routinely prosecuted at the felony level.

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Examples of Fraud

You may be committing fraud if you:

  • Start work and do not accurately report your work and work hours when you request benefit payment. There are no exceptions to what TWC considers “work.” View a tutorial on how to calculate and report earningsPDF.
  • Do not accurately report gross earnings (before taxes or deductions) when you request benefit payment.
  • Do not report a job separation (for example, fired, quit, laid off) that occurred while you were receiving unemployment benefits.
  • Do not keep your Tele-Serv Personal Identification Number (PIN) or Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS) password secure and someone requests benefits using your personal information.
  • Request payment of unemployment benefits while incarcerated.
  • Intentionally give us false information or withhold relevant information.
  • Use another person’s identity to apply for benefits.

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Fraud Detection

To detect fraud, we compare what you report with other sources to verify the accuracy. If you don’t correctly report your work after being hired, TWC will find out.

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Potential Consequences

If you receive unemployment benefits, you are legally responsible for following state and federal law.

If you commit unemployment fraud, you must pay back benefits you were not entitled to receive plus a 15 percent penalty on benefits you fraudulently received. In addition, you could face a variety of penalties, including:

  • Criminal prosecution by state or federal authorities
  • A possible jail or prison sentence and/or fines
  • Loss of remaining benefits on your claim

You are not eligible for benefits you received after the first incident of fraud. For example, if you did not correctly report earnings for 10 weeks, you are not eligible for the benefits you received from the first week you misreported earnings all the way through the end of your claim.

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Report Suspected Fraud

See Reporting Fraud or call 800-252-3642.

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Last Verified: December 13, 2013

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
Deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired customers may contact Relay Texas: 800-735-2989 (TTY) and 711 (Voice). Equal opportunity is the law.

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