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Substitute House Bill No. 5058

Public Act No. 04-60

AN ACT CONCERNING INTEREST ON FRAUDULENT UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION OVERPAYMENTS AND A FEE FOR FAILURE BY CONTRIBUTING EMPLOYERS TO FILE TIMELY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION QUARTERLY RETURNS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 31-273 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2004):

(b) (1) Any person who, by reason of fraud, wilful misrepresentation or wilful nondisclosure by [him] such person or by another of a material fact, has received any sum as benefits under this chapter while any condition for the receipt of benefits imposed by this chapter was not fulfilled in [his] such person's case, or has received a greater amount of benefits than was due [him] such person under this chapter, shall be charged with an overpayment and shall be liable to repay to the administrator for the Unemployment Compensation Fund a sum equal to the amount so overpaid to [him] such person. If such person does not make repayment in full of the sum overpaid, the administrator shall recoup such sum by offset from such person's unemployment benefits. The deduction from benefits shall be one hundred per cent of the person's weekly benefit entitlement until the full amount of the overpayment has been recouped. Where such offset is insufficient to recoup the full amount of the overpayment, the claimant shall repay the remaining amount plus, for any determination of an overpayment made on or after July 1, 2005, interest at the rate of one per cent of the amount so overpaid per month, in accordance with a repayment schedule as determined by the examiner. If the claimant fails to repay according to the schedule, the administrator may recover such overpayment plus interest through a wage execution against the claimant's earnings upon [his] the claimant's return to work in accordance with the provisions of section 52-361a, as amended. In addition, the administrator may request the Commissioner of Administrative Services to seek reimbursement for such amount pursuant to section 12-742. The administrator is authorized, eight years after the payment of any benefits described in this subsection, to cancel any claim for such repayment or recoupment which in [his] the administrator's opinion is uncollectible. Effective January 1, 1996, and annually thereafter, the administrator shall report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, revenue and bonding and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to labor and public employees, the aggregate number and value of all such claims deemed uncollectible and therefore cancelled during the previous calendar year.

(2) Any person who has made a claim for benefits under this chapter and has knowingly made a false statement or representation or has knowingly failed to disclose a material fact in order to obtain benefits or to increase the amount of benefits to which [he] such person may be entitled under this chapter shall forfeit benefits for not less than [two] one nor more than thirty-nine compensable weeks following determination of such offense or offenses, during which weeks [he] such person would otherwise have been eligible to receive benefits. For the purposes of section 31-231b, such person shall be deemed to have received benefits for such forfeited weeks. This penalty shall be in addition to any other applicable penalty under this section and in addition to the liability to repay any moneys so received by such person and shall not be confined to a single benefit year.

(3) Any person charged with the fraudulent receipt of benefits or the making of a fraudulent claim, as provided in this subsection, shall be entitled to a hearing before the administrator, or a deputy or representative designated by [him] the administrator. Notice of the time and place of such hearing, and the reasons [therefore] for such hearing, shall be given to the person not less than five days prior to the date appointed for such hearing. The administrator shall determine, on the basis of facts found by [him] the administrator, whether or not a fraudulent act subject to the penalties of this subsection has been committed and, upon such finding, shall fix the penalty for any such offense according to the provisions of this subsection. Any person determined by the administrator to have committed fraud under the provisions of this section shall be liable for repayment to the administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Fund for any benefits determined by the administrator to have been collected fraudulently, as well as any other penalties assessed by the administrator in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. Until such liabilities have been met to the satisfaction of the administrator, such person shall forfeit [his] any right to receive benefits under the provisions of this chapter. [Such] Notification of such decision and penalty shall be mailed to such person's last known address and shall be final unless such person files an appeal [within] not later than twenty-one days after the mailing date of such notification. [of such decision and penalty was mailed to his last-known address. ] If the last day for filing an appeal falls on any day when the offices of the Employment Security Division are not open for business, such last day shall be extended to the next business day. Such appeal shall be heard by a referee in the same manner provided in section 31-242 for an appeal from the decision of an examiner on a claim for benefits. The manner in which such appeals shall be heard and appeals taken therefrom to the board of review and then to the Superior Court, either by the administrator or the claimant, shall be in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 31-249 or 31-249b, as the case may be. Any determination of overpayment made under this subsection which becomes final on or after October 1, 1995, may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment of the Superior Court when the claimant fails to pay according to [his] the claimant's repayment schedule. The court may issue execution upon any final determination of overpayment in the same manner as in cases of judgments rendered in the Superior Court; and upon the filing of an application to the court for an execution, the administrator shall send to the clerk of the court a certified copy of such determination.

Sec. 2. Section 31-273 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (j) as follows (Effective July 1, 2004):

(NEW) (j) All interest payments collected by the administrator under subsection (b) of this section, as amended by this act, shall be deposited in the Employment Security Administration Fund.

Sec. 3. Subsection (j) of section 31-225a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2004):

(j) (1) Each employer subject to this chapter shall submit quarterly, on forms supplied by the administrator, a listing of wage information, including the name of each employee receiving wages in employment subject to this chapter, [his] such employee's Social Security account number and the amount of wages paid to [him] such employee during such calendar quarter.

(2) Commencing with the first calendar quarter of 1991, each employer subject to this chapter who reports wages for two hundred fifty or more employees receiving wages in employment subject to this chapter, and each person or organization [which] that, as an agent, reports wages for a total of two hundred fifty or more employees receiving wages in employment subject to this chapter on behalf of one or more employers subject to this chapter shall submit quarterly the information required by subdivision (1) of this subsection on magnetic tape, diskette, or other similar electronic means which the administrator may prescribe, in a format prescribed by the administrator, unless such employer or agent demonstrates to the satisfaction of the administrator that it lacks the technological capability to report such information in accordance with this subdivision.

(3) Any employer that fails to submit the information required by subdivision (1) of this subsection in a timely manner, as determined by the administrator, shall be liable to the administrator for a late filing fee of twenty-five dollars. All fees collected by the administrator under this subdivision shall be deposited in the Employment Security Administration Fund.

Approved May 10, 2004