UI - overpayments; reemployment

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) yesterday released testimony relating to two aspects of unemployment insurance (UI): (1) efforts by the Department of Labor (Labor) to prevent overpayments, and (2) federal and state efforts to get UI claimants back to work. According to the testimony, in FY2004 UI paid $41 billion in benefits to 9 million claimants, and Labor estimated that $3.4 billion was overpaid in calendar year 2004.

UI is a federal-state partnership. GAO reported that one new step Labor has taken to help states detect and prevent overpayments is a pilot program using the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH). NDNH is a database of the Office of Child Support Enforcement (CSE) in the Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS) containing information on newly hired employees, quarterly wage reports, and UI claims nationwide.

For reemployment assistance, GAO noted two major changes to UI since its enactment as part of the Social Security Act (SSA) in 1935. In 1993 Congress required states to establish a Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) system to identify claimants needing reemployment services early in their claim. Then the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, PL 105-220 (pdf), in §121, established the one-stop system, requiring states and localities to combine 17 federally-funded employment and training services into one system.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: Enhancing Program Performance by Focusing on Improper Payments and Reemployment Services, GAO-06-696T
      Full report (pdf, 272KB, 22p.)
      Highlights (pdf, 88KB, 1p.)
      Abstract (html)

Related GAO reports:

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: Factors Associated with Benefit Receipt and Linkages with Reemployment Services for Claimants, GAO-06-484T (pdf, 380KB, 27p.), March 15, 2006

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: Factors Associated with Benefit Receipt, GAO-06-341 (pdf, 2.7MB, 93p.), March 7, 2006

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: Better Data Needed to Assess Reemployment Services to Claimants, GAO-05-413 (pdf, 868KB, 47p.), June 24, 2005

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