By seizing federal and state income tax refunds, the Connecticut Department of Labor has recovered nearly $4.63 million in unemployment benefits that were wrongly paid to more than 5,000 people.
The announcement from the department did not say over what period of time the overpayments were made. It only recently gained the ability to intercept federal tax refunds, not just state checks.
“Nationally, Connecticut has one of the best performance records when it comes to minimizing the number of unemployment insurance overpayments, but we are making it a top priority to implement new tools and technology to improve upon our successes,” State Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer said.
Just through intercepting state checks, the department recovered more than $4 million last year – more than double what it had collected in 2011.
Officials estimate the state will recover as much as $8 million by the end of the year.
“Fraud is a very serious and costly offense that carries severe repercussions, including repayment, administrative penalties, interest charges and prosecution,” said Deputy Commissioner Dennis Murphy.
If someone suspects unemployment benefits fraud, they can report it here or call 1-800-894-3490.
The state does a cross match on wage data, and finds that about 500 people a week haven’t terminated their unemployment claims in the first week on the job. By preventing those payments, the state saves $5 million a year.