@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Jobless claims to soon require photo ID

Posted December 4, 2013
Updated December 5, 2013

— North Carolina voters aren't the only ones who will soon have to present photo identification.

State officials said Wednesday that, as of Feb. 1, anyone seeking unemployment benefits will have to present a photo ID in a face-to-face meeting within four weeks of filing a claim.

The current system lets people file for jobless benefits either online or by telephone, but Assistant Commerce Secretary Dale Folwell, who heads the Division of Employment Security, said there's been a growing number of fraudulent claims by people using someone else's name or Social Security number.

Identity theft among jobless claims is a problem both for those whose personal information is stolen and for the state, Folwell said, noting his agency has paid out money in hundreds of fraudulent cases.

When the state goes after those people's tax refunds to try to get the money back, innocent people end up with the bill, he said.

"We're sending people money back that we took from their tax refunds – not just inside North Carolina but places like Texas and Wyoming who'd never been to this state, never been unemployed in this state," he said. "Someone stole their ID, and when we went to get that overpayment back, then it was taken from somebody who'd never been to North Carolina."

Several other states already require a photo ID for benefits – the U.S. Department of Labor has approved the practice – and Folwell noted that people have to have a photo ID to get a job and get off benefits because employers require it.

Jobless generic, unemployment line NC cracking down on fraudulent unemployment claims

"If that is a condition for employment, it probably should be a condition for unemployment too," he said.

Some people receiving unemployment benefits said requiring a photo ID is a commonsense approach.

"You shouldn't give out money to random people," Chanel Marshall said.

Connie Parker said people need an ID for many other activities, but she said she wonders how people who don't have a driver's license will manage.

"Especially if they have to come down here to get their ID," Parker said. "When you're unemployed, money is tight, and that's gas money, depending upon where you live."

Folwell said the state will also start cracking down on job searches in February.

People receiving unemployment benefits are required to look for work, but the state doesn't always verify what they report. Under the new rules, people receiving benefits will have to provide much more detail about their search efforts, and officials will check up on it.

77 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • gotnoid Dec 10, 8:59 a.m.

    What does having an valid ID have to do with one's race. Are you saying that certain races lack the sophistication to secure an ID?
    Now that is real racism!

  • caesarrodney1980 Dec 9, 3:24 p.m.

    Won't this disenfranchise the poor? Sarcasm of course......bout time our gov't started asking for proof of identity!! Good JOB!

  • 42 Dec 9, 3:20 p.m.

    Please! someone clue me in. Why is there an issue about identifying one's self. In what way does it harm or mistreat someone to have ID. - gotnoid

    It costs money to get an ID. If the state issued them for free, I'd have no problem with it. It would cost me $40 to get a NC state ID. No matter what NC charges my home state still charges me for a Birth Certificate.

  • gotnoid Dec 9, 2:27 p.m.

    Please! someone clue me in. Why is there an issue about identifying one's self. In what way does it harm or mistreat someone to have ID.
    Personally, I thought this was a manufactured diversion to turn the media way from serious issues and to enrich the "race merchants" but it seems to have hung-on much longer than I expected.
    Really stupid stuff-I say

  • SFSOLDIER Dec 9, 9:50 a.m.

    What?? How is this remotely possible?? All the mess about not producing an ID to vote, yet now they have to have one to get bennies?? How is this possible?? Really?

  • foolmeonce Dec 9, 8:09 a.m.

    Oh No! Not ID. That is soooo racist. Do you see how ridiculous it is not to require ID? How do you prove who you are without one? I've never signed a legal document in my life without showing my driver's license.

  • Get your IDs Dec 9, 7:23 a.m.

    I could have sworn I had to show an ID to sign up for bennies. But then again Im responsible enough to maintain a piece of plastic for an extended period of time.

  • computer trainer Dec 6, 7:33 p.m.

    DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves - unemployment still comes in the form of debit card or direct deposit. We do not receive cash.

  • Wood Chipper Dec 6, 7:31 p.m.

    "apart from the fact there's no FRAUD going on here-" - junk

    Except, there is, junk.

    From the article: "Identity theft among jobless claims is a problem both for those whose personal information is stolen and for the state, Folwell said, noting his agency has paid out money in hundreds of fraudulent cases."

    You're always ready to circle the wagons around the criminal element. But that's normal for extremist Progressives.

  • junkmail5 Dec 6, 6:49 p.m.

    I understand exactly what you're saying, however, the priority should be to stop fraud, no matter how much it costs us-DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves

    No, it shouldn't.

    If we know fraud is "costing" us $100 a year... and it costs $10,000 a year to stop it, it's financially INSANE to stop the fraud.

    And every time someone has tried the "drug testing" nonsense it COSTS more than it saves.

    (that's apart from the fact there's no FRAUD going on here- "not doing drugs", absent these other laws, isn't a requirement for benefits.)

    PLUS, perhaps you missed the "it's also illegal and gets thrown out by the courts eventually" part?

More...