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Tennessee paying unemployment benefits to felons behind bars

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  • Tennessee paying unemployment benefits to felons behind bars




    Dead people and state employees are still getting jobless benefits. But a new group is reaping the rewards of Tennessee's broken unemployment system — felons behind bars.

    For the second year in a row, state auditors found numerous problems with the state's unemployment system. An audit last year found that at least $73 million in jobless benefits were improperly paid out. But this year's version found that the amount had ballooned to $181 million. And it found new problems with ineligible people — dead and alive — drawing benefits.

    People with legitimate claims to unemployment, meanwhile, continue to struggle with a phone system nearly impossible to get through, the new audit found. Those lucky enough to have their calls answered — about 15 percent of callers according to June 2013 statistics — endured nearly an hour of waiting, on average.

    "I just sit and I redial, redial, redial, I try all hours of the day," said Karen Lacey, a Nashville resident who has been trying to get unemployment benefits since March 3. "It's been a big problem."

    [....]

    Simple cross-matches comparing unemployment beneficiaries to other databases found that the state had been giving unemployment benefits to at least 19 people employed by the state of Tennessee. Auditors also found that three dead people had been paid unemployment.

    The findings echo an audit last year, which found 24 state employees and seven dead people receiving benefits.

    But in a new twist, this year's audit found that 84 felons behind bars had also been cut unemployment checks. Part of the problem, auditors found, was that the labor department didn't know how to check for convicted felons in county jails. But six of those 84 were in state prisons — a fact the Labor Department didn't explain.


    I have little doubt that this is recurring all across the land.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

  • #2
    But no one cares because the reported figures seem so small. It's like voter fraud. Well, who cares? It's not like cracking down will swing an election.

    It's the same with all this stuff: the problems seem so huge that paying attention to pesky little violations seems useless.

    It's really all down to principles. If you have principles about how tax-payer money should be handled, then principles should rule. If you think utility or expediency is the primary driver, then losing at the margins isn't very important.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Adam View Post


      I have little doubt that this is recurring all across the land.
      Clearly, it's happening 24/7.

      The findings echo an audit last year, which found 24 state employees and seven dead people receiving benefits.
      Enjoy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
        Clearly, it's happening 24/7.
        An audit last year found that at least $73 million in jobless benefits were improperly paid out. But this year's version found that the amount had ballooned to $181 million. And it found new problems with ineligible people — dead and alive — drawing benefits.
        Maybe not 24/7...but a good portion of the week to get to those numbers. Unless, of course, it's just 5 people with a really large benefit check.
        Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
        Robert Southwell, S.J.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
          But no one cares because the reported figures seem so small. It's like voter fraud. Well, who cares? It's not like cracking down will swing an election.

          It's the same with all this stuff: the problems seem so huge that paying attention to pesky little violations seems useless.

          It's really all down to principles. If you have principles about how tax-payer money should be handled, then principles should rule. If you think utility or expediency is the primary driver, then losing at the margins isn't very important.
          Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
          Clearly, it's happening 24/7.
          May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
          Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
          And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
          may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.

          Comment


          • #6
            Too subtle?
            Enjoy.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
              Too subtle?
              I got it, FWIW.
              It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
              In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
              Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
              Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

              Comment

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