Unemployment Insurance Fraud

En español

Collecting Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits based on false, misreported, or unreported information to the EDD is committing UI fraud. If you are filing a claim, reopening a claim, or certifying for UI benefits, you are legally responsible for making sure you follow the requirements set by State law. You could face serious penalties and consequences for committing UI fraud.

Examples of UI fraud can include:

  • Returning to work but continuing to collect UI benefits without reporting the work and wages.
  • Not reporting wages during the week that the work was performed.
  • Working a part-time job but not reporting your earnings, so you are collecting more benefits than you are allowed.
  • Performing temporary work while collecting UI benefits, but not reporting these earnings when certifying for benefits.
  • Withholding information or giving false information when filing a UI claim or certifying for benefits.


If you commit UI fraud, you could face a variety of serious penalties including:

  • Prosecution by government authorities.
  • Possible jail or prison sentences.
  • Repaying the UI benefits collected, plus penalties and fines.
  • Forfeiting future income tax refunds.
  • Losing eligibility to collect UI benefits in the future.

Avoid Committing UI Fraud

To avoid penalties for committing UI fraud:

  • Report your wages or income before deductions during the week you work and not when you receive your pay.
  • Report all income including self-employment and independent contractor work.
  • Keep a record of the work and wages earned for each day to ensure accuracy.

Reminder: The certification week starts on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. If your payroll week starts on a different day, keep a record of your daily hours worked and income earned to report them to the EDD during the appropriate week.

What to Do If You Think You Have Accidentally Committed Fraud

If you think you may have accidentally committed UI fraud, contact us immediately by phone, by mail, or online.