Illinois efforts to stop unemployment fraud prevented $1 million from being paid in the first three months since a working group was created as part of a reorganization of the Illinois Department of Employment security, the state agency said Monday.
“The unemployment insurance program is a balance between paying workers enough to tide them over until they find another job and keeping taxes low so small business owners can invest and grow,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Every time we stop benefits before they are wrongfully paid truly is a win-win-win for taxpayers, business and labor.”
Between September and November, more than 120 individuals applied for Illinois unemployment while already collecting benefits or applying for them from another state.
Past anti-fraud efforts would uncover fraud after benefits were paid, the ides said.
Stopping improper payments better protects the trust fund used for benefits and allows the ides to reinvest staff time toward identifying waste and fraud, the agency said.
Ides began re-organizing in 2012, including the creation of working groups focused on efficiency, productivity and training.