Government: Indiana's Unemployment Benefits Error Rate Worst in US
State addressing concerns, but calls $1.7B claim "ludicrous"
The Labor Department says Indiana has the worst rate of improper unemployment payments in the country. But state officials maintain that figure is misleading.
The government says 44% of Indiana benefit checks over the last three years shouldn't have been paid, adding up to nearly $1.75 billion in improper payments. In 80% of those cases, the government says applicants either fell short of a requirement to search for three jobs each week, or didn't register properly for the state jobs bank.
Indiana Workforce Development Commissioner Mark Everson says a lot of those cases are technicalities, like one line left blank on the registration. He says the government would "scream bloody murder:" if the state denied 200,000 claims a year on that basis.
But Everson says the state is working to bridge the gap between state procedures and the federal concerns. Iinstead of denying payments to someone who applies for only two jobs, the state might send a notice telling him to do one more. A Department of Labor scorecard says the state is "on track" to fix most of the problems, though the government still wants Indiana to do a better job of advising applicants of their job-search responsibilities.
Kentucky has the lowest error rate in the nation at four-percent.