Audit reveals LWC may have issued over 97,000 erroneous payments
BATON ROUGE - State officials were recently tasked with identifying potentially erroneous payments issued by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and an analysis revealed extensive errors.
A recent report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office shed light on what auditors found as they examined earnings reported to the LWC by employers from January 2020 through September 2020.
In their report, state officials explain that to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits during the pandemic, citizens with wages reported to LWC by employers were required to have meet several criteria.
First, these citizens must have been classified as an employee by their employer. Secondly, they should have lost income or their job through no fault of their own. Thirdly, they could not have earned any more than $247 per week from a secondary employer or source of income.
To ascertain an individual’s eligibility, LWC should have compared the information submitted by the applicants with reports filed by their employers.
But, auditors found that LWC made approximately $405.3 million in payments to 97,585 individuals who did not appear to have been eligible based on their income.
In their conclusion, state officials who conducted the audit stated, "LWC indicated that its ability to verify individuals’ eligibility for unemployment benefits was hampered by the significant increase in the number of applications submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic and legislative action that gave employers additional time to submit their wage reports to LWC. "
Click here to view the report.