The Labor Department believes a larger share of unemployment insurance benefits were improperly paid than its previous calculations – 21.5 percent versus 18.7 percent of the total last year – accounting for the upward shift in the estimated amount lost to waste and fraud.
But federal officials acknowledge that they cannot precisely identify how much federal aid was wrongfully sent out.
UI benefits are just one of a handful of large government programs that were created or expanded during the pandemic to help individuals and businesses harmed by the disruptions it caused to the economy.
That’s at least one in five dollars appropriated by the federal government for extended unemployment benefits during the pandemic that ended up in the pockets of people who weren’t eligible. Read more…