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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Fraudulent Unemployment Claims in UNY

    April 14, 2021 / By Tracy Rickett, Human Resources Generalist / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    The Upper NY Conference office has seen an increase in fraudulent unemployment claims for Conference staff. We have received a few calls from churches who participate in unemployment insurance that they have as well.

    Please note: Churches are not required to participate in unemployment insurance but some voluntarily do for their lay staff.


    • If the church, as the employer, receives documentation from the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) about a claim being filed, contact the employee and ask if they filed the claim.
    • If the employee did not file a claim, advise the employee to contact the Department of Labor  and tell them there was a fraudulent unemployment claim filed in their name.
    • If you (the church employer) verbally spoke to your employee, it is prudent to follow up with the employee with the guidance you verbally provided.
      • Filing a report is very important because the documentation we are receiving include the employee’s name, address, wage information, and social security number (potential identity theft).  
      • Filing a fraud report with the state will ensure nothing is paid out under the church’s account. 
      • Reporting it also includes clear steps on how to proactively protect the employee from identify theft, including getting set up for free credit monitoring.
      • If you receive any documentation about a fraudulent unemployment claim, please report it to the DOL and your employer right away. 

    If you have questions on unemployment, please contact Tracy Rickett, Human Resources Generalist, at (315) 898-2017 or email at

    With more than 134,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 85 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."