We called this over a year ago, and now we have official confirmation.
In testimony to Congress last week, Labor Department Inspector General Larry Turner testified that the low-end estimate for improper payments – mostly fraud – is $191 billion. This, in part, because the feds allowed the self-employed to “self-certify” for benefits.
Applying the estimated 21.5 percent improper payment rate to the approximate $888 billion in pandemic UI expenditures, at least $191 billion in pandemic UI payments could have been improper payments, with a significant portion attributable to fraud.
Based on our audit and investigative work, the improper payment rate for pandemic UI programs was likely higher than 21.5 percent.
DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz added:
We also found that multiple states paid benefits to ineligible individuals, including prisoners, with California estimating it sent $800 million in benefits to 45,000 prisoners…
DOL OIG identified one case where a single Social Security Number was used to apply for unemployment benefits in 40 different states, resulting in the disbursement of a total of $222,532 from 29 of those states.
This theft is especially infuriating because congressional Democrats refused to investigate and called these fraud payments a “cost of doing business.” Now instead of hunting down the fraudsters and reclaiming the stolen money, Biden wants a $200 billion tax hike.
The testimony and video of the hearing are here: