Photo: Burt Lum (Flickr)
The U.S. Department of Labor says Indiana makes mistakes on nearly half of all unemployment claims. Indiana’s unemployment error rate is 43 percent. Only Louisiana is worse, and no other state is above 27 percent.
Indiana Workforce Development Commissioner Mark Everson says the figures are misleading because of the way the government defines errors. He says if recipients leave any blanks empty on their claim form, the government counts them as an improper payment, but he says that is not accurate.
“Each week, they update it to indicate they searched for work,” Everson said. “However, we have space for three searches. But if they completed two, or they just have partial completion on the third, they’re still going to get paid.”
The Department of Labor says four out of five of Indiana’s errors related to the job-search requirement or an online registration form. The department has a separate measure of overpayments it considers state agencies’ fault. Indiana’s rate of three-percent is the nation’s 11th best.
Vice President Biden highlighted the 50-state report yesterday as an example of the administration’s efforts to root out “waste, fraud and abuse.” Everson calls that a “gross distortion,” and says the government is “nuts” if it thinks it can boot nearly half the state‘s recipients of jobless benefits off the rolls.