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NY - Penalties for Collecting UI while living abroad

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  • NY - Penalties for Collecting UI while living abroad

    After 25 years of work, I became unemployed in June and began to collect unemployment benefits. In September I moved back to my homeland in Bangladesh, but continued to claim unemployment. Recently, I received a notice from the NY DOL stating that they suspected I was out of the country and they were going to withhold my benefits until they completed a review of my file. I realize what I did constitutes fraud and just wanted to find out exactly how much trouble I am in. I do not intend to contact the DOL, and was wondering how on earth they can establish exactly when I left the country.

    For whatever it is worth, I am near retirement age, have given up on the job search, and do not particularly want to return to the US. While what I did is technically illegal, I do not feel morally culpable, and feel I was entitled to collect the benefits since I was ready willing and able to work in the event that any one ever contacted me with an offer. If the DOL demands the money back for the 6 months that I was out of the country, there is no way I can pay them back as I don't have any income or liquid savings and was just going to wait out the 5 years until I can draw on my IRA and 401k. Any advice for my situation will be much appreciated. I am particularly anxious to find out the penalties that can be imposed.

  • #2
    If you pay it back, not HUGE trouble, in that they're not going to put out a warrant for your arrest. The penalties are generally going to be related to not being able to collect UI in the future, for a specified period of time.

    Are you a US citizen or resident alien?

    "Technically illegal" is the phrase here. "Morally culpable" is irrelevant.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the response, Pattymd. I am a U.S. citizen.

      Well, paying it back is HUGE trouble in my situation, though not as huge as going to jail, I suppose. I guess I should just wait it out to see if they are able to determine when exactly I left the country? Speaking of "technically", if I return to the U.S., I am technically entitled to continue to collect unemployment through September, under the extended benefits. Since I am no longer going to claim benefits, would a discontinuation of my claim count towards a repayment, or is it simply annulled on account of the penalty?

      Sorry if this post comes through twice. I may have hit the wrong button the first time.

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      • #4
        Are you looking for work? If you aren't, you aren't eligible anyway.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Yes, I look for work but at this point I'm not kidding myself, but I do go through the motions.

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          • #6
            The State Department knows exactly when you left the country. All the UI office has to do is ask.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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