ESD Inaccuracy and Contradiction

ESD has a problem with inaccurate data and internal contradiction. The experience of an ESD claimant makes this clear.

Many other claimants have reported the same report and question described below.

This claimant has been collecting unemployment benefits through PUA as a self-employed person. PUA is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

For the week ending August 8, 2020, the claimant encountered this report and question from ESD while filing the weekly claim:

We received information that you may have an unemployment claim in another state or with the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. Have you applied for or received unemployment benefits from another state or the U.S. Railroad Board in the last 12 months?

The claimant does not have an unemployment claim in another state or with the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board.

The “received information” comes down to two possibilities: 1) imposter fraud or 2) ESD programming error.

A few days later the claimant received a determination letter from ESD saying the claimant was eligible for benefits for the week ending August 8, 2020.

However, on the letter was a statement related to the false accusation:

“Existing claim in another state or with railroad-296xxxxx”. See the full letter.

Note this wording in the letter: “You can appeal this decision if you disagree with it. . . . You or your employer(s) can appeal in eServices, by fax, or postmarked by Sep 14, 2020.”

In eServices there is specific reference to the determination letter. On the far right is a link to “File an appeal”.

After clicking on the link to appeal, this message comes up: “You can file an appeal only for a decision that was not in your favor. This decision was in your favor, so you can’t file an appeal.”

The letter says clearly an appeal can be filed. eServices says an appeal cannot be filed. CONTRADICTION!

Fearing the possibility of being included in Michigan-style screw-up with false fraud accusations, the claimant in this example filed an appeal by USPS Priority Mail objecting to the specific reference to the out-of-state/railroad assertion and faxed the appeal.

The claimant also sent a messages through ESD’s secure message system denying any out-of-state or railroad claim and demanding to see the information ESD received. Demanding to see the information was also important because if there was imposter fraud in another state, the claimant wants to know to take the appropriate actions.

As one final action, the claimant faxed a letter to the Office of Special Investigations asking them to look into the issue of the out-of-state/railroad assertion because there may be imposter fraud behind the out-of-state/railroad reference.