Davis Announces $2.4 Million in U.S. DOL Grants to the State of Illinois to Fight Unemployment Insurance Fraud
The U.S. Department of Labor is providing all states a total of $100 million to combat UI fraud and recover improper payments
U.S. Representative Rodney Davis today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will be providing the State of Illinois $2.4 million in grant funding to combat Unemployment Insurance (UI) program fraud and recover fraudulent payments. The grant covers new UI programs created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as well. Davis has been contacted by constituents who have received unemployment benefits yet never applied.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation efforts forced millions of Americans out of work,” said Rep. Davis. “That’s why I supported enhanced unemployment benefits and additional support for state unemployment programs in the CARES Act, but many states, including Illinois, were unprepared for the enormous amount of claims, both fraudulent and legitimate. These grant funds from the U.S. Department of Labor will help the Illinois Department of Employment Security crack down on unemployment fraud and make sure benefits only go to those who are eligible.”
“The Department of Labor has made preventing fraud and abuse of the unemployment insurance system a top priority,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “State workforce agencies are on the front lines in the fight against fraud and abuse, and the funding and resources provided by the Department today will help States protect the integrity of their unemployment insurance programs.”
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). As states work diligently to provide these important benefits to eligible individuals, they also face significant challenges due to increased fraudulent activity and identity theft amid new and emerging fraud schemes.
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.
DOL encourages 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.
DOL also encourages states to use these funds to enhance their PUA and PEUC fraud prevention efforts and to work with the Employment and Training Administration and the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Center to use these resources to address fraud aggressively in these programs.