By Tom Gantert (The Center Square)
A US government report released Monday estimated that more than $60 billion in unemployment insurance fraud may have taken place during the pandemic.
A report by the US Government Accountability Office says the figure is an estimate of the spread across the entire unemployment system and “should be interpreted with caution.”
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$4.3 billion in unemployment fraud has been proven by state workforce agencies and at least $45 billion in businesses flagged as potentially fraudulent unemployment claims but not confirmed.
The US Department of Labor said a total of $878 billion in unemployment benefits were paid from April 2020 to September 2022. Report Said. Outlays of $209 billion under regular unemployment insurance and payments of about $669 billion under various pandemic unemployment programs ended September 6, 2021.
According to the report, the US Congress created four new unemployment insurance programs during the pandemic.
The report questioned the US Department of Labor’s efforts to combat fraud.
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“The Department of Labor has taken steps to address such fraud,” the US Government Accountability Office points out. “However, the Department still needs to develop an antifraud strategy based on key practices from GAO’s Fraud Risk Framework as required by law.”
GAO continued: “These steps will help prevent, detect, and respond to fraud As of December 2022, DOL has not yet developed an antifraud strategy based on the key practices in GAO’s Fraud Risk Framework. Also, it has not yet addressed the six October 2021 recommendations made by the GAO, including identifying UI fraud risks, assessing impact, and prioritizing. These are essential pieces to inform an overall antifraud strategy. Without an antifraud strategy, the DOL will not be able to address the most significant fraud risks facing the UI system in alignment with the fraud risk framework.
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.