General, SSI

Unemployment Insurance Fraud and Social Security

February 4, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: March 23, 2021

Unemployment Insurance Fraud and Social SecurityScammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to file fraudulent unemployment claims, often using someone else’s identity. Scammers may even use the identity of someone who is receiving or applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

SSI applicants and recipients who begin to receive—or seemingly begin to receive—State Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits could appear to be ineligible for SSI benefits. They could even appear to be overpaid because of an unemployment claim filed in their name.

These UI fraud schemes are widespread and affect most states. The United States Secret Service is investigating more than 500 claims in over 40 states related to unemployment fraud.

At Social Security, we’re taking steps to verify whether SSI applicants and recipients are victims of UI fraud. We will not reduce or terminate your payments due to a fraudulent unemployment claim. You can find information on how to report fraud on the Department of Labor’s website.

Remember that scammers always look for a chance to exploit your fears. Don’t fall for their tactics—and guard your personal information. Make sure to check out our past blog articles covering scams to stay informed. Please share this information with your friends and family—and let’s help each other stay vigilant.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. Bob B.

    Wow! This article was very informative. Thank you!

  2. Holly A.

    I was under the understanding that if you receive SSDI you can earn up to 5000 a year and still be able to receive your benefits. Im not sure of what you are saying about unemployment fraud. So if s person on SSDI worked part time and made just under the 5000 allowable wages and then claims unemoyment because they lost that job due to the pandemic that would be considered fraud? Or not? Or does that only apply to SSI and not SSDI? NEED TO KNOW CAN SOMEONE ENLIGHTEN ME PLEASE? Thank you and have a good day!

    • Vonda

      Hi Holly, thanks for using our blog. If you think someone is using your personal information to file a fraudulent unemployment claim, check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on what you can do. We hope this helps!

  3. Khalid M.

    Someone is attempting to collect UI using my name and SS with an address in a different state. I have notified the DOL and the FTC. What can I do about my SS number being compromised?

    • Vonda

      Hi Khalid, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on what you can do if you think someone filed an unemployment claim using your information.

  4. crystle

    Today I received in the mail a statement from DES about my husbands PUA claim last year so we could have the info for our taxes. Problem is my husband NEVER filed for it. My issue is if they would of checked under his SSI (who ever is using it) they would of found out that he would not of been qualified to get it. He has been retired for 17 years and gets a pension. How can this be overlooked? and HOW can someone find his ssi, and they must have our correct address since the mail came here, and collect over 11426.00 and get away with it?? And I was told that we would never even find out who did it?? Cant I file charges?? I guess I cant ?? I cant file our taxes because the IRS thinks we made a additional 11426. last year?? I cant get a answer on how long this will take to fix…all could of been avoided if they would of put in the SS # that was being used and find out he was retired and getting a pension (17 years now) and that he was making to much money to even qualify for pua.. who is at FAULT???

    • Vonda

      Hi Crystle, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on what you can do if you think someone filed an unemployment claim using your information.

      • CRYSLTE


  5. Deanne S.

    A military veteran friend of mine whom receives ssdi an ssi filled for unemployment and now received a letter stating he no longer would be able to receive payments because of an overpayment does that sound proper?

    • Vonda

      Hi Deanne, thanks for using our blog. Your friend should call his local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  6. Kirti P.

    How would I know if someone fraudulent files a claim in my name?

    • Vonda

      Hi Kirti, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for things that you can do if you think someone filed an unemployment claim using your information.

  7. Leah N.

    Is the PUA considered earned income for ssi(disability) recipients, who are also parents of a child who can’t attend school due to SIP?

  8. Yvonne D.

    If you receive SSA, but was working to supplement your benefit and during the shutdowns you were unable to work. Are you allowed to file an unemployment claim or a PUA. Is this considered fraud if you apply.

    • Vonda

      Hi Yvonne, thank you for your question. Unemployment benefits do not affect or reduce Social Security retirement and disability benefits. State unemployment compensation payments are not wages because they are paid due to unemployment rather than employment. However, income from Social Security may reduce your unemployment compensation. Contact your state unemployment office for information on how your state applies the reduction.

      If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), unemployment insurance benefits are considered unearned income. If you, your spouse, or a child living in your household have any income other than your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment, including unemployment insurance benefits, you must tell us.

      To learn more about SSI and how income affects your payment, read What You Need to Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

  9. Jerry U.

    I have not received unemployment for over 6 weeks and we desperately need that money. What can I do?

    • Vonda

      Hi Jerry, thanks for using our blog. We are unable to answer questions about unemployment insurance as each state administers its own program. Learn more here.

    • avanigo

      Sankranti Quotes
      The festival of Sankranti is dedicated to Surya Deva or the Sun God. This festival is named Makar Sankranti because according to Hindu mythology it is believed that on the day of Sankranti the Sun God or Lord Surya transits the 10th astronomical house of Capricorn or Makar.

  10. Mary S.

    2 of my co-workers have been targeted. We found out about the first one when the IL office sent me an email. I filled out the paperwork online right away; he called them directly to deny ever filing. The second guy got notified by mail. He called them to report the fraud. I’m worried now that somehow our IDES file was hacked and it could happen to another one.

    • Vonda

      Hi Mary, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on what you can do if someone files an unemployment claim using your information.

    • Andrey

      Hi please my email address ssa and SSI benefits bank card, security post office people USA Today. Do you work with the job and USA. Thank you need my help with jobs in Massachusetts states. Office SSA!? Thank you!

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