Synopsis:IL WC Commission WC Fraud Busters Suffer Budget Cuts?? Really—Is That Where Gov’t Budget Cutting Should Start?


Editor’s comment: Noting our State Government is awash in a tsunami of red ink, we were amazed and not surprised to receive news the IWCC is cutting its WC Fraud Busters budget yet again. This might be due to an across-the-board State budget cutting push to decrease all spending by 4%.


We note the IWCC isn’t appointing all the Arbitrators they could otherwise have but there is no true sense of “budget-cutting” anywhere in our State gov’t that I can tell or smell. The last thing we should be cutting are folks that will try to insure all WC claims are real and no one is taking advantage of the reasonable IL WC system.


Well, I am sure in all of the other 49 United States, workers’ comp fraud is sadly present and the other states care about limiting or stopping it. Other states are concerned when a phony claim is brought or someone is working when they are on TTD.


How does our IL State Gov’t waste money? Let me count just a few of the ways:


  • Our State still has human beings take highway tolls—many States have completely ended that wasteful concept and gone to fully automated toll roads.

  • Our State has seven, count ‘em, seven separate and redundant police departments—do we have the money to afford a do-nothing Secretary of State Police Department?

  • Our State has both a Comptrollers Agency and a State Treasurer—both State agencies do basically the same thing.

  • Illinois has a Toll Authority and the Department of Transportation that also do basically the same thing.

  • We have 88 State Agencies when we need about 22.


We are a land of redundancy and overpaid/overstaffed and “over-retired” gov’t workers.


Someday, I hope we, as Illinoisans, get our priorities back and realize the money spent to ferret out WC fraud is the sort of thing large businesses and employers look to when they decide to move to our State or grow businesses here. Everyone on all sides of the WC matrix need to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but…


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Synopsis: After a seven-year hiatus, our Social Security Administration is again notifying U.S. employers when W-2 records don’t match employee Social Security numbers. As the Scouts say—Be Prepared!!


Editor’s comment: For the first time in seven years, U.S. employers will soon be receiving Social Security number (SSN) “no-match” letters from our Social Security Administration when it has discovered the W-2 records completed by the employee and submitted by the employer don’t match the Administration’s records on employee names and SSNs. This is a warning to employers to carefully check the employee’s information. The problem could be as innocent as a typographical error or as nefarious as a stolen identity.


The Social Security Administration has given employers an overview of frequently asked questions and steps to take upon receiving a mismatch letter, also called an “employer correction request notice.”


Be Prepared When You Get a “No-Match” Letter


The new letters won’t include the names and Social Security numbers of employees with mismatched SSNs. When you are put on notice, employers must register online with the Social Security Administration’s Business Services Online (BSO) to find out whose SSNs are mismatched.


If an employer learns of SSN mismatches and does nothing, then U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may consider the employer to have “constructive knowledge” that you have an undocumented worker. But if employers take action against an employee based solely on a “no-match” letter, you may be sued for discriminating against the worker based on citizenship or origin.


The Trump administration began sending these letters again to help strengthen the enforcement of immigration laws.


What to Do After Receiving a “No-Match”: Letter


  • Check your records for a clerical or typographical errors.

  • Notify your employee of the anomaly.

  • Give the employee a reasonable period of time to resolve the possible error(s) with the Social Security Administration.


Experts feel a “reasonable period” could be between 30 to 90 days. If the employee cannot resolve the mismatch with the Social Security Administration, you may then fire the worker.


Other legal veterans feel U.S. employers should not jump to conclusions when you receive mismatch letters. Tell all affected employee about the mismatch. If the employee doesn’t respond, tell the Social Security Administration of the lack of response.


An employer may not want to receive no-match letters and do nothing. Employees who need to resolve SSN mismatches may need time off work to resolve or correct the issue. However, an undocumented employee is not likely to go the Social Security Administration but instead might ask the employer for extension after extension to resolve the matter, hoping the company will forget about the SSN mismatch.


Companies have the option of also using the administration’s Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS), available through BSO. The service allows employers to verify SSNs before filing W-2 submissions. It cannot be used to prescreen candidates, and once employers have registered for SSNVS, they must use it across the entire organization, which can be an administrative burden. Some employers are choosing not to sign up for SSNVS.


Causes of Mismatch Letters


The cause of mismatch letters may be falsification, identity theft or a completely fabricated SSN.


One way to avoid most SSN mismatches is to use E-Verify. E-Verify checks the names, dates of birth and SSNs of new hires against the Social Security Administration’s database. E-Verify can’t catch cases of identity theft, when someone steals someone else’s name, date of birth and SSN to obtain unemployment and disability benefits. But E-Verify should prevent most SSN mismatches with the Social Security Administration.


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