The state’s Department of Labor and Industry plans to stop paying extended unemployment benefits by the middle of the month due to Pennsylvania’s declining unemployment rate. Still the fight to combat jobless compensation fraud remains front and center.
Jim Tillman heads up the department’s Office of Integrity. He says a major chunk of fraud is detected by checking a database of newly-hired people in the state to see if any of the names match those on unemployment compensation claims. “This would be for people who become employed and then fail to report to L and I that they got a job, and they continue to collect unemployment benefits — which is our biggest contributing factor to overpayments,” he said.
Tillman says 44 percent of overpayments last year went to people collecting unemployment compensation while they had jobs. Since his office was created last July, other programs have been added to the state’s fraud-detection repertoire. Federal tax forms can be viewed to find out whether individuals are collecting more unemployment compensation than they should be.