Benefit Accuracy Measurement

The Benefit Accuracy Measurement/Quality Control Program is a system designed to detect and correct both error and fraud in the Unemployment Insurance program. It is an audit of the records of a sample group of claimants which are selected each week at random in order to test the accuracy of the Unemployment Insurance payments they have received.

  • What does the Program Include?

    The audit consists of a review of employer records, agency actions and records and claimants' statements. Auditors check: Eligibility, Payroll/separation, Work search contacts, Job Service activity and records.

    How are cases selected?

    Each week, 'sample' claims records are chosen at random by computer. Any claimant who received Unemployment Insurance payments during the preceding week may be selected. A claim may be audited more than once as new cases are selected at random each week.

    How is the audit done?

    Auditors contact employers to verify payroll records and the reason for the claimant's unemployment as well as to verify work search contacts specified by claimants on their bi-weekly claim form.

    How will I know if I have been selected?

    Claimants are notified that a particular week for which they received benefits is being audited. You will be required to fill out a detailed questionnaire about your claim.

    Why is the audit being made?

    The audit makes certain that your claim has been paid correctly. If you received less or more than you should, an adjustment will be made. Information obtained from the audit will be used to improve the unemployment insurance program.

  • What is the Benefit Accuracy Measurement/Quality Control Program?

    BAM/QC is a management information tool that helps control error and fraud in the state and federal Unemployment Insurance program. The tool provides valid information on the rates, responsibility for and causes of unemployment insurance benefit over- and under- payments. The benefits of the audit are better prevention, detection and collection of improper payments.

    How does the system work?

    Unemployment Insurance claimants are randomly selected for a complete review of their unemployment insurance claim. A member of the BAM/QC staff will contact the employers to verify payroll and separation information. Claimant's work search contacts are researched. The result of each audit answers the question, "Was this person truly eligible for the amount of benefits received?"

    Based on the investigation, a determination is made as to whether the claim for the week was paid properly or improperly. If paid improperly, it is then determined whether the error was made by the claimant, the unemployment insurance agency, or the employer. Finally, the reason for the improper payment is documented and the claim corrected.

    Once all this information is obtained, a statistical analysis is performed and management information on the rates, responsibility and causes of over- and under- payments of unemployment insurance benefits is produced.

    What is the information necessary?

    Contacts with employers by BAM/QC auditors are an integral part of the audit in order to:

    • Verify the claimant's past or present work and earnings.
    • Verify that the reason given by the claimant for becoming unemployed or working reduced hours is correct.
    • Verify that the claimant did, in fact, inquire about or apply for work as the claimant reported.

    Why is the information needed?

    To qualify for benefit payments, the claimant must be able and available for, as well as actively seeking work. Claimants are required to report all work search contacts and the results of each. Thus, employers will be contacted to verify the claimant's work search.

    In addition, to qualify for benefit payments, claimants must have become unemployed or must be working reduced hours through no fault of their own. Employers may be contacted to substantiated reasons for the claimant's work separation.

    Wages are verified because the unemployment insurance benefit entitlement in based on previous earnings, length of employment and current earnings.

    How does the BAM/QC program benefit employers?

    Better detection and collection of improper unemployment insurance payments may result in reduced costs and may have a favorable impact on employer taxes.

    Also, the program is intended to reduce improper payments in the future by deterring future unemployment insurance claimants from submitting inaccurate information on the claim application.

    As an employer, how can I help?

    There are a number of ways you can help:

    • Honor the BAM/QC request for information.
    • Provide the information promptly.
    • Provide information that is accurate to the best of your knowledge.
    • Cooperate with Unemployment Insurance appeals hearings when requested to do so.
    • Share other information that might the BAM/QC staff determine if the person under audit was truly eligible for benefits and received the proper benefit payment.
      • For instance, if an employer is aware that a person under audit has returned to work or has been working while collecting benefits, an auditor should be notified.

    Who do I contact with my questions or if I want more information?

    The BAM/QC program supervisor is available during regular business hours by phoning:

    Montana Department of Labor and Industry at 444-2670

    or by writing: 

    Montana Department of Labor and Industry
    Benefit Accuracy Measurement
    P.O. Box 1728
    Helena, MT 59624

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