13th District Congressman Rodney Davis announced that $2.4 million is coming to Illinois to combat unemployment insurance fraud. Davis announced in a press release today that the Department of Labor is releasing a total of $100 million to state governments after rampant unemployment fraud was reported throughout the country during layoffs and furloughs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant covers new unemployment insurance programs created under the CARES Act, and will be used to recover fraudulent payments. Davis says he’s been contacted by constituents who have received unemployment benefits yet never applied. Davis says that he supported enhanced unemployment benefits when the pandemic began but understands that many states were unprepared for the number of claims that came in. Davis says the new funding will help organizations like the Illinois Department of Employment Security crack down on fraud and ensure the benefits get to the people that need them.
The State of Illinois will receive $2,041,200 for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and $388,800 for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) to combat fraud and recover improper payments in both of those programs. As a result of COVID-19, state workforce agencies have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of individuals filing claims to receive benefits in the regular UI program as well as the CARES Act UI programs (PUA and PEUC).
States are permitted to use this targeted funding for staff or contract services to conduct fraud investigations and other fraud detection-related activities, and to implement tools to increase prevention, detection, and recovery of fraudulent improper payments in the PUA and PEUC programs. The U.S. Department of Labor also is encouraging state agencies to adopt new fraud prevention and detection strategies, and utilize Unemployment Insurance Integrity Center resources to enhance current fraud prevention operations. The Center’s Integrity Data Hub is a secure data cross-matching system, containing an array of effective fraud prevention and detection tools. The Hub’s new identity verification solution is now fully operational and available to all states.