Success of Utah’s UI Program Tied to Integrity

The U.S. Department of Labor’s 2015 third quarter report gives Utah high marks for a healthy unemployment insurance (UI) program. The purpose of the UI program is to preserve a skilled workforce, benefiting both employers and workers.

Utah’s UI Trust Fund balance has recovered from the hit of the Great Recession when there were significant benefit increases. As of Sept. 30, 2015, the Trust Fund had a balance of nearly $926 million.

Utah has the 5th healthiest trust fund in the nation — based on total wages in the state and our ability to weather another significant increase in benefits. Utah has approximately 1.4 million individuals in its labor force covered under unemployment insurance, and nearly 75,000 employers paying into the UI Trust Fund.

During the third quarter of 2015, the average individual qualified for 21.9 weeks of benefits and collected only 12.2 of these weeks, oftentimes returning to work before the end of their claim.  This is a decrease from 13.3 weeks at this same time last year.

Utah is ranked 5th in the nation for the lowest duration of claimants collecting benefits, and 3rd when taken within the context of the maximum number of weeks available.

Utah's economy is strong. When unemployment does happen, we're here to support employers and employees.|

Focus on Integrity

Individuals submit a weekly certification stating their availability for work, detailing their work search efforts, and reporting any earnings from part-time or temporary work from the previous week. To verify the accuracy of this information, Workforce Services conducts data cross-matches and random claim audits.

The vast majority of Utah’s claimants report accurately. When someone makes a mistake on their weekly filing, we encourage them to contact us immediately to correct the error either through our online chat feature at jobs.utah.gov or by calling into our Claims Center at 801-526-4400.

We take fraud seriously. Individuals found to have committed fraud are required to pay back the total overpayment plus a 100% administrative penalty. They can be disqualified for benefits for up to 49 weeks and face liens, wage garnishments and recoupment of this money through their federal tax refund. We actively prosecute fraud — resulting in six 3rd degree felony convictions and 22 Class A misdemeanor convictions during 2015.

Click here for more information about Utah's UI program integrity efforts.