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Audit reveals LWC doled out over $6M in unemployment benefits to numerous incarcerated, possibly ineligible individuals

2 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Monday, May 03 2021 May 3, 2021 May 03, 2021 6:59 PM May 03, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - According to the office of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, a recent analysis of financial records belonging to the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) exposed serious discrepancies.

Auditors say LWC made approximately $6.2 million in state and federal Unemployment Insurance payments to 1,195 incarcerated individuals who do not appear to have been eligible for the benefits.

Under LWC’s policy, incarcerated individuals are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits because they are unable to obtain employment, which is required by state law.

To verify eligibility, LWC performs a weekly match of individuals receiving unemployment benefits to incarceration data from LWC’s vendor’s national database.

Auditors found 92 individuals received only one week of benefits while they were incarcerated, which may indicate LWC identified them through its weekly data match and stopped payments.

But over 1,000 individuals received benefits for more than one week, including some who received payments but were incarcerated from March 2020 through November 2020, which may indicate the weekly data match did not work as intended.

Click here to view the auditor's full report. 

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