Earlier this week, our office announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will be providing the State of Illinois $2.4 million in grant funding to combat Unemployment Insurance (UI) program fraud and recover fraudulent payments. The grant covers new UI programs created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as well. Our offices have been contacted by constituents who have received unemployment benefits yet never applied.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation efforts forced millions of Americans out of work. That’s why I supported enhanced unemployment benefits and additional support for state unemployment programs in the CARES Act, but many states, including Illinois, were unprepared for the enormous amount of claims, both fraudulent and legitimate. These grant funds from the U.S. Department of Labor will help the Illinois Department of Employment Security crack down on unemployment fraud and make sure benefits only go to those who are eligible.
 
Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said this about the grant: "The Department of Labor has made preventing fraud and abuse of the unemployment insurance system a top priority. State workforce agencies are on the front lines in the fight against fraud and abuse, and the funding and resources provided by the Department today will help States protect the integrity of their unemployment insurance programs.” 
 
The State of Illinois will receive $2,041,200 for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and $388,800 for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) to combat fraud and recover improper payments in both of those programs.

Learn more about this grant here.