The $6 trillion spent by Congress to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States was approved one year after it began. The Congress allocated hundreds of billions of money to increase unemployment benefits. The benefits were especially generous because of the emergency situation. They offered some laid-off workers up to triple what is normally paid by unemployment insurance.).
This week’s Government Accountability Office (GAO), released a report that found “substantial amounts of fraud” within the program. It also revealed that the government does not have a strategy to address the problem.
Each state manages its own U.I. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), ensures that each state adheres to federal standards. The GAO report states that Congress created four new U.I. The four new U.I. programs were created during the pandemic and collectively paid out $878 billion between April 2020 – September 2022. All of them were meant to complement state U.I. benefits.
This large-scale cash infusion created many opportunities for fraud and abuse. Some fraudsters used this information to falsify income and employment information.