TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Labor announced a number of new initiatives this week like a new security system and a new call line for tax-related issues.
KSNT News has been hearing from a number of viewers about issues ranging from being hung up on when calling KDOL, to receiving 1099-G forms despite never having filed unemployment, and on the latter, people who have filed haven’t received the payments needed to feed their families.
We tracked down what happens when you claim fraud has happened. According to Jerry Grasso, the Communications Director for the Department of Labor, you will be given a Kansas Highway Patrol report number to confirm you have successfully made your claim. Then it is up to the victim to go through all the credit and bank systems to make sure money hasn’t been stolen.
As the Kansas Department of Labor plans to shut down the online system on Saturday to beef up security, KSNT set out to track down the audit investigation of the labor department we heard about last summer. The investigation was supposed to be ready in December.
“Legislative Post Audit it is scheduled to release its initial finding in March,” said Rep. Kristey Williams of District 77. “Now there is a more extensive audit that will not probably release until the summer and that will look at all kinds of things related to their modernization effort, related to the response time, how overall they were able to handle claims. But in terms of the fraud, we felt that it was an emerging crisis, and so we initiated that a few months ago and we’ll have that response back in March.”
According to Williams, Kansas had a 17% rate of fraud before the pandemic began.
“That’s too high, I think that’s 5th or 6th highest in the country. Every single legislator, all 165 of us are receiving calls and emails every day,” said Rep. Williams. “So many of us have experienced the fraud personally. I know I have.”
Grasso says there have been at least 250,000 reports of unemployment fraud since the pandemic. During the State of the State, Gov. Laura Kelly announced a complete overhaul of the IT system would cost KDOL roughly $37.5 million.
He also says the new two-factor authentication update at KDOL should be done by Tuesday.
If you received a 1099-G, without applying to unemployment, starting Monday there is a new number you can call for help, related solely to tax issues like that. The number is 785-575-1461.