MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The state of Vermont is offering identity theft protection to more than 100,000 people who received unemployment benefits last year after tax forms were inadvertently sent to the wrong people.
Last week, the Department of Labor announced that some people who received unemployment benefits last year were sent 1099-G forms that included tax information for someone else.
While not all people who received unemployment benefits last year were affected, the service will be offered to everyone who received them.
People who received the benefits will receive instructions next week on how to sign up for the service.
“As soon as the person enrolls, the protection will be retroactive to the date of the breach," Gov. Phil Scott said Tuesday. "My hope is that this will provide some reassurance though I don’t know, this doesn’t come close to making up for the harm and worry this has caused Vermonters.”
Initial cost estimates to provide the service is up to $7 million, but the state has insurance to cover such losses so will only have to pay the $250,000 deductible.
On Wednesday the Vermont Health Department reported 62 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to more than 13,120.
Currently there are 54 people hospitalized, including 10 patients in intensive care.
The state reports 187 people have died of COVID-19.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 137.71 new cases per day on Jan. 26 to 129.86 new cases per day on Feb. 9.
The latest average positivity rate in Vermont is 1.78%. State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Vermont the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test specimens using data from The COVID Tracking Project.
The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 2.12% on Jan. 26 to 1.78% on Feb. 9.