Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-02-23 18:32:52 –
Frankfort, Kentucky (LEX 18) — Good intentions, bad results. Kentucky auditor Mike Harmon explains the decision made by unemployment insurance leaders:
In Single audit across KentuckyHarmon outlines the issue of OUI and the unemployment insurance fund as “deeply involved with taxpayers and those who have applied for UI benefits.”
On Tuesday, Harmon testified in front of the Senate’s Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Relations Commission. He said OUI’s leadership “sacrificed program integrity” by making changes that violated federal law in order to receive payments to the unemployed more quickly.
The decision to implement an “automatic payment” policy allowed people to make money faster, but he said he was able to automatically pay UI benefits without reporting weekly wage information. I will. That information is usually needed to determine if someone is actually eligible for benefits that week.
“As I said, I’m sure it’s probably well-intentioned to get a check from those who wanted it,” Harmon said. “But what it did was create an environment for potentially more fraud. It also put us in a situation where no questions were asked about income-other income in particular.”
An example of a problem caused by automatic payments is overpayment. Of the 37 state employee samples who applied for and received unemployment benefits, 16 received UI benefits for losing part-time jobs while working full-time in the state, according to Harmon. It is said that it was received.
The net overpayment for this sample was over $ 116,000.
Despite the decisions made by OUI personnel to pay benefits more quickly, many claims were still not processed in a timely manner. According to Harmon, OUI has archived 400,000 emails received from the public through the Unemployment Insurance Support Email Portal, which remained unread as of November 9.
“Sure, they faced a tremendous challenge, but as you know, it’s been over a year and ultimately we need to understand it. We owe it to us. Thanks to the great citizens of this federation who have suffered for a long time. Throughout this pandemic, “Harmon said.