Unclaimed Jobless Benefits Far Exceed Fraudulent Claims, Study Says | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Unclaimed Jobless Benefits Far Exceed Fraudulent Claims, Study Says

Taxpayer-funded jobless benefits that shouldn't have been paid because of errors or fraudulent claims totaled about $11 billion in 2009, according to a new study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

But the total amount of unclaimed benefits was nearly 10 times larger, economists estimate: $108 billion. They estimate that during the 2007-2009 recession, only about half of those eligible for them were collecting the benefits.

The Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog writes that:

"There are a variety of reasons why people might not claim their benefits, including anxiety over state investigations into how they lost their jobs or changes in the application process that pose hurdles, said Claire McKenna, a policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project. Florida, for example, now requires the unemployed to apply for benefits online and complete a 45-question "individual skills review," which can intimidate some people, she said."

The study's authors note that "overpayments in the U.S. unemployment insurance system have received increasing attention of late. For example, CNN.com cited a recent study by the Department of Labor in reporting that 11 percent of all unemployment benefits were overpaid." But, they add, "not everyone who is eligible for unemployment benefits actually collects them. Over the longer horizon, these unclaimed benefits are much larger than the overpayments that have received recent attention."

Related post: "Jobless Claims Fell By 23,000 Last Week; Durable Goods Orders Rose."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Maggie Gyllenhaal Is 'The Honorable Woman': A Series Both Ruthless And Rewarding

The eight-part drama that begins Thursday stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a British baroness with an Israeli passport. She's a fearless actor in a show full of kidnappings, seductions and betrayals.
NPR

Should We Return The Nutrients In Our Pee Back To The Farm?

A group of environmentalists in Vermont aren't at all squeamish about "pee-cycling." A local hay farmer is using their pee as fertilizer as they run tests to find out how safe it is for growing food.
NPR

With Prosecutors Circling, Ethics Questions Get Serious For N.Y. Governor

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing reports that his administration interfered with the work of an anti-corruption commission that he created — and then abruptly disbanded.
NPR

Can Pinterest Compete With Google's Search?

Pinterest has created a database of things that matter to humans. And with a programming team that's largely been hired away from Google, the company has begun offering what it calls "guided search."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.