NewsCovering Louisiana


Audit: $6.2 million in unemployment benefits paid to ineligible incarcerated individuals

Posted at 7:34 AM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 08:34:20-04

A report by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor has found that the Louisiana Workforce Commission paid $6.2 million in unemployment benefits to more than 1,000 incarcerated individuals who probably weren't eligible to receive them.

According to the report, the individuals who received benefits from LWC were incarcerated during the period of January 2020 through November 2020.

LWC policy states that incarcerated individuals are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits because they are unable to obtain employment, which state law requires for individuals to be eligible for State and Federal UI benefits.

The audit found, however, that 1,195 incarcerated individuals did receive payments even though they were not eligible.

LWC says that the improper payments occurred because the data matches it conducts to identify incarcerated individuals receiving unemployment insurance benefits did not work properly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The audit states that 92 incarcerated individuals received only one week of benefits which indicates that LWC was able to identify them through their weekly data match to stop payments.

However, 1,103 individuals received unemployment benefits for more than one week, including individuals who received unemployment benefits but were incarcerated the entire period of March 2020 through November 2020. The audit states that this may indicate that LWC's weekly data match of individuals receiving unemployment benefits and incarcerated individuals did not work as intended.

See the full report, click here.

A report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office in April found that the Louisiana Workforce Commission paid more than $400 million to workers who probably weren't eligible.

To read that report: Audit: More than $400 million in unemployment paid to ineligible workers

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