More than $1.6 billion in unemployment insurance benefits was paid to individuals who did not seek work in fiscal year 2016, according to an audit from the Government Accountability Office.
Unemployment insurance is paid to individuals if they lose employment with the general requirement that they actively search for work. For some states, this active search may require a minimum number of contacts a beneficiary must have with potential employers, submission of job applications, creating a LinkedIn account, going to a networking event, or visiting a job center.
The audit was conducted to see whether or not unemployment insurance beneficiaries who did not actively search for work affected the program’s level of improper payments. In fiscal year 2016, the Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance program was the seventh-highest for improper payments among all federal programs. The biggest cause was beneficiaries not meeting work requirements.
According to the report, while the federal law requires that there needs to be a work search requirement in order to receive benefits, states can determine what those activities are, and they can be vary from state to state.
Read more at the Free Beacon.