(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Indiana makes more errors on unemployment insurance benefits than almost any other state, but state officials say the rate does not tell the whole story.
Vice President Joe Biden was joined by U.S. Department of Labor officials Wednesday in announcing six states that will be listed as high priorities for cutting waste, fraud, and abuse – including Indiana.
The labor department said Indiana’s improper payment rate is 43.56 percent, just behind Louisiana for the nation’s worst.
Mark Everson, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, came to defend his department, which oversees unemployment benefits.
Everson said 80 percent of Indiana's errors were caused by work search issues and employment search registrations. He blamed a form recipients fill out on the state’s online job board, IndianaCareerConnect.com. The form asks recipients to list three recent job applications, when only one is required by law.
“They characterize these as ‘waste, fraud and abuse.’ That’s a serious allegation, and that’s just flat out wrong,” Everson told the Associated Press.
Everson says the state does not withhold benefits for the “glitches,” although the Labor Department suggests they should.