Millions Lost to Fraudulent Unemployment Benefits
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho employers facing high unemployment insurance costs can, in part, blame those who get fraudulent benefits. Getting that money back can often prove fruitless. The Idaho Department of Labor has clawed back some $24.8 million since 2007, but more than $20 million is still being pursued. Idaho’s unemployment trust fund was already under pressure as the 2008 recession pushed the jobless rate above 9 percent, forcing the state to borrow from the federal government and sell bonds to repay the debt. The rate at which employers pay into the fund is now at its maximum. The Labor Department sought more leverage to limit overpayments in the 2012 Legislature by penalizing employers who don’t report new hires to the agency. It could have saved $5 million annually. House lawmakers balked.