TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -Audit numbers released last week state Kansas paid up to $466 million in fraudulent unemployment claims from March 2020 to March 2022.
So, what does this mean?
“$266 million in taxpayer money wasted, most of this could have been avoided if we put the stops in a lot earlier than we did. We asked as early as June, they had warned us and now we are at a deficit of about half a million dollars,” said Rep. Sean Tarwater (R) Stilwell.
Committee members say even people who didn’t file for unemployment are affected.
“$466 million in fraud has destroyed people’s lives. On one side you have business owners who have paid into this system and they have watched money go out the door. They watched their former or current employees they were hoping to bring back suffer for not having the unemployment they were supposed to get,” said Rep. Susan Estes (R) Wichita.
Estes says people with legitimate claims were denied unemployment from the lack of multi-factor authentication.
Now, millions of dollars have been traced overseas with no guarantee the state can get it back. The council discussed Monday what to do next to make sure the trust fund set up to pay claims is built back up.
“$128 million on top of the $250 million that we have already put in to make the trust fund hold for the fraud ,the states side of the fraud that was paid out,” he said.
The council will meet again October 5th to discuss the security issues that may have played a role.
We reached out to the Governor’s office for a response to the audit, they have not responded. But, have said previously the issues with the unemployment system go back to several administrators and they are working to correct it.
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