The Benefit Accuracy Measurement (BAM) program is a quality control program required by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) reviews a sample of unemployment benefit claims to see if there were errors and to find ways to improve the integrity and efficiency of the unemployment benefits system.
The program goal is to reduce improper payments by encouraging both claimants and employers to submit accurate information. You can help TWC by participating in the BAM audit and providing the requested information.
Audit Notification and Participation
An auditor will contact you if you are selected for a BAM audit. Audits are done by phone, fax, mail, and/or email. If you are selected for an audit, you should contact the auditor listed on the notice. If you are not sure who to contact, call the Benefit Accuracy Measurement Department.
- Claims are randomly selected for a quality review audit each week. Being selected does not mean there was a mistake on the claim.
- The auditor contacts the claimant and the employer by phone or mail to complete the BAM questionnaire. The auditor collects all new information.
- The auditor uses the information collected to make an independent decision on whether the correct actions were taken.
The information requested in a BAM audit will vary depending on whether the claim was paid benefits or denied benefits. The auditor will tell you know what information or documents are needed. We review the following items:
- Prior Wages: These are the wages used to calculate the benefit amounts on the claim. Employers may need to provide payroll records to verify the wages were reported correctly.
- Job Separation: The auditor will ask for information about why the claimant separated from their job. The auditor must get new information instead of using the information previously provided. If the claimant had more than one job, we will ask for information on each job.
- Eligibility Issues: The auditor will ask for information about any determination that was made on the claim. If a new issue comes up during the audit, the auditor will collect information about the issue. Eligibility issues include being physically or mentally able to work, being available for work (such as transportation or childcare), or if the claimant refused a job. It could also include any additional pay the claimant received, such as severance or a pension.
- Reported Earnings: If the claimant worked while filing for benefits, the auditor must verify the weekly earnings were reported correctly. Employers may be asked to provide payroll records for each week of the claim.
- Work Search: Claimants must provide their work search activities for a specific week. The auditor contacts each employer listed to verify the activity. See below for more details on what to provide. Employers: If the claimant reported contacting an employer for work search, the auditor will attempt to verify the claimant contacted you about applying.
Claimants are required to provide a log of work search activities for a specific week. You should make a list of every action you took to look for work. See the Unemployment Benefits Work Search Guidelines for a list of what counts as a work search activity. Include enough details so the auditor can verify your activities.
Work Search Log – Download TWC’s work search log or create your own log, as long as it includes the same information that is on our version.
Be sure to include:
- Date of the work search activity
- What you did (for example: searched for work at a Workforce Solutions office, used reemployment services, applied online/in person, participated in a job fair)
- Type of job you are seeking
- Employer names, addresses, and phone numbers including area codes
- Name of the person you contacted, if applicable.
- Method of contact (for example: mail, e-mail, fax, phone)
- Result of your activity (for example: submitted job application, sent a résumé, interviewed, hired, not hired, no reply, other)
Claimants: If you are filing for benefits, you should complete and return the questionnaire and provide additional information because it may affect your claim. If you do not respond, your benefits are suspended and past weeks may be disallowed, which could result in an overpayment (reference 20 CFR §602.21).
Employers: If you are an employer, you should complete and return the questionnaire and provide additional information because TWC uses the audit results to detect improper payments. This may result in a favorable impact on employer taxes.
No, the audit results will not change a determination that is already final. If you disagree with a determination, you should follow the appeal instructions.
The auditor may adjust the wages used to calculate the benefit amounts if the wages are incorrect. The law allows TWC to make an adjustment to the wages any time during the claim year. This wage adjustment could change the benefit amounts on the claim.
The federal regulatory authority for the BAM program comes from 20 C.F.R. §602. The program is run by TWC’s Benefit Accuracy Measurement department. Employers are required to have employment and payroll records that will allow TWC to conduct the BAM audit.
Claimants are required to respond and provide work search records. There are penalties for refusing or failing to keep records required by the department, or for knowingly making false statements. Records must be provided within a reasonable time.