Benefit Audit Forms

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Completing the Form

The EDD conducts benefit audits on a daily, weekly, and quarterly basis to help pay Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to only eligible claimants, help you control your UI costs, and protect the integrity of the UI Program and UI Trust Fund. If your business receives an audit form from the EDD, you are required by law to complete and return it by mail within 10 business days.

The following is a list of forms and instructions that you may receive:

If you need help completing the benefit audit forms, call 1-866-401-2849 Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., except on state holidays.

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Additional Information

Submit additional information (such as reason for separation, availability, refusals of work, self-employment, and more) on a separate piece of paper if needed. Give a brief explanation for each of the following that apply.

  • Misconduct/Fired: This does not mean laid off, lack of work, or reduction in force. It means the person was willing to continue working but was not allowed to even though work was available.
  • Voluntary Quit: This means the person could have continued to work but chose not to even though work was available.
  • Laid Off or Lack of Work: This means your business slowed down and you did not have any work for the person to do, or there was a reduction in workforce.

This means the employee missed a chance to work, or refused work during any week. Include the date the work was refused, the dates of the missed period of work, and if the person gave a reason for refusing the work.

If another person has worked for you using the same Social Security number, or your employee’s name does not match the name on the form, list the name of your employee in the appropriate box and return the completed audit to the EDD.

EDD Weeks

The EDD UI week is Sunday through Saturday with some exceptions. Enter the employee’s weekly gross earnings for the weeks listed, not the amount they were paid. For more information on types of pay, review Types of Earnings.

Note: The 1296B does not need to be returned if there are zero earnings for all weeks listed.

Gross earnings are wages earned before any deductions have been made, such as taxes or employee contributions toward benefits. To determine gross wages, use the following formula: Gross Earnings or Wages = Hours Worked X Rate of Pay. Even if your pay period differs, provide the earnings for the weeks we have listed. If needed, explain how you reported the gross wages.

Use one of the following ways to report this information:

  1. Calculate the hours worked and gross earnings by including the dates actually worked.
    Gross Earnings or Wages = Hours Worked X Rate of Pay.
  2. Prorate the claimant’s gross earnings. Multiply the claimant’s average earnings per day by the number of days worked.

For more information on types of pay, review Types of Earnings.

The UI week ends at midnight each Saturday. If a worker begins a night shift on Saturday night and finishes on Sunday morning, separate the gross earnings into two different weeks. Include the hours worked on Saturday until 12 a.m. in one week, and the hours after midnight in the next week. For more information on how to report earnings when you have a different pay period, review Pay Periods.

Pay Periods

If you keep daily time records, add the hours and earnings from your records and match them to the UI week. You can send copies of daily time records, including the hourly rate of pay, and we will complete the weekly entries.

If you do not keep daily records of time worked, and only have the amounts earned by pay period, prorate the earnings to allocate them to the work week. Explain how you prorate the earnings.

Enter the gross amount of wages earned in each week. Entering the pay period total in one week may cause us to decide that the claimant was paid benefits incorrectly.

If you keep daily time records, add the hours and gross earnings for each week and enter the total. You can send copies of daily time records, including the hourly rate of pay, and we will complete the weekly entries.

If you do not keep daily records of time worked, and only have the gross amounts earned by pay period, prorate the earnings to allocate them to the work week. Explain how you prorate the earnings.

Biweekly Pay Example

Biweekly total earnings entered for each work week.
Week Total
September 4 – September 17 = $405.20
September 18 – October 1 = $623.02

 

Biweekly Allocation Example

Biweekly prorated gross earnings entered and allocated for each week.
Week Total
September 4 – September 10 = $300.00
September 11 – October 17 = $105.20
September 18 – October 24 = $311.51
September 25 – October 1 = $311.51

 

If you pay on a contract basis, enter the total gross amount of the contract and the beginning and ending dates of the contract.

For example: Coached football from August 12, 2019 through November 15, 2019 for a total of $1,700.

Note: If the employee is a school contract employee, attach a copy of the contract.

Types of Earnings

Report bonuses separately from regular earnings. Select OTHER and enter BONUS on the form. Include the time period the bonus covered and reason for the bonus, such as length of service or amount of production.

Bonuses for production or performance must be allocated over the entire bonus period. If you are not sure which week to include a bonus, enter the amount of the bonus, what period it covered, and when it was actually paid on the form or on a separate sheet of paper.

Report commissions separately from regular earnings. Select C to show commission.

If the employee knew the amount of the commission at the time the services were performed, report the commission when it was earned. If the person did not know the amount of the commission at the time the services were performed, report the commission when it was paid. Show if the employee is full-time, part-time, or on-call.

If you pay on a contract basis, enter the total gross amount of the contract and the beginning and ending dates of the contract.

Note: If the employee is a school contract employee, attach a copy of the contract.

If the employee was paid at piece rate, report the amount earned for that specific week. Select P (DE 1296B and DE 1296NBA) or OTHER and enter PIECE WORK (DE 1296NER).

Report residual payment when you mail the payment and include if the payment is mailed to the claimant or their agent. Select R (DE 1296B) or RES (DE 1296NER and DE 1296NBA) to show residual payment.

Report severance pay even if the employee is permanently separated from your employment and this is a settling of accounts. Show if the employee performed a service, such as remaining available for recall, or meeting another requirement to receive the pay. Select S (DE 1296B, DE 1296NER, DE 1296NBA) to show severance pay.

Report sick pay separately from regular earnings. Select SL (DE 1296NER) or O and enter SICK LEAVE (DE 1296B, DE 1296NBA).

Report tips separately from regular earnings. Select OTHER and enter the TYPE OF TIPS (table tips, banquet tips, etc.)

Tips must be allocated to the week they were earned. If you have a daily record of when the tips were earned, report them to the work week. If you do not have a daily record of when the tips were earned, allocate them to the week you think they were earned.

Report vacation or holiday pay separately from regular earnings. Select V or H to show vacation or holiday pay.

Next Steps

Once you complete your benefit audit forms, return them by mail within 10 business days to the address listed at the bottom of the form.

Note: The 1296B does not need to be returned if there are zero earnings for all weeks listed.

Penalties and Fraud

The best way to report fraud is to submit a Fraud Reporting Form online. You can also fax 1-866-340-5484 or call the EDD Fraud Hotline at 1-800-229-6297 (for reporting fraud only).

When reporting fraud:

  • Provide all relevant information about the issue. Include your name and phone number if you don’t want to remain anonymous. You will not receive a call from the EDD unless more information is needed.
  • Send any fraudulent documents or mail to EDD PO Box 826880, MIC 43, Sacramento, CA 94280-0225. You can also write “Return to Sender” on the envelope and provide it to your mail carrier.
  • If you need to provide more information after reporting fraud, contact the EDD again online, by phone, or by fax. Include the reference number provided when you first reported the issue.

Note: To ensure the confidentiality and integrity of any investigation, the EDD does not provide status updates unless court-ordered or required by law.