C-19 Unemployment Fraud
What portion of Covid-19 unemployment benefits were improper payments due to fraud and errors?
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the improper payment rate for unemployment benefits in 2021 was 18.71%. However, the agency's Inspector General found that "this estimate is based on the regular UI [unemployment insurance] program," and "the improper payment rate for pandemic UI programs is likely higher than 18.71 percent." Using the 18.71% figure, the Inspector General calculated that "at least $163 billion in pandemic UI benefits could have been paid improperly, with a significant portion attributable to fraud." This amounts to an average of at least $1,242 for every household in the United States.