Everyone falls on hard times at some point. Some people are fortunate to have friends and family to support them and others are grateful for government support. One of these support programs is unemployment insurance. Most employers must pay into the unemployment insurance fund. This is what allows workers to get temporary benefits while they search for new a job. Unfortunately, fraudulent claims are a serious problem for these funds. This article will go over the information you need to access unemployment benefits and how you can avoid fraud.

In Missouri, the Division of Employment Security investigates and prosecutes fraudulent unemployment claims. You must report your earnings for each week you claim unemployment including tips, wages, part-time, bonuses and commissions. If you fail to report any compensation you earn during the week, you have committed fraud. Additionally, each week you apply for benefits, you must list the employers to which you applied. You can only list employers you actually submit applications to ? this is a way for the DES to confirm that you are looking for work. A good rule is to always be forthright in the application.

If the DES discovers fraudulent activity, your benefits are subject to cancellation. If the fraud is serious, the DES may assess fines or even imprison the offender.

If you believe you made a mistake while filling out your request for unemployment insurance, you may want to speak to an employment law attorney. These fraud investigations can quickly spiral out of control depending upon the information you submitted and when and how serious a discrepancy it caused. Carefully review your application for unemployment ? you don’t want to get swept up into a DES investigation because of an honest mistake.