Department of Labor

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Office of the New York State Comptroller

Department of Labor
Unemployment Insurance Benefit Payments for 2012

(Issued: 06/14/2013)


Purpose
The objective of our examination was to determine whether Unemployment Insurance (UI) payment requests and payments made by the Department of Labor (DOL) for the period January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012 were appropriate and processed in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws and DOL regulations.

Background
DOL administers the UI Program, which consists of the UI Benefit, Trade Re-adjustment Allowance, and Disaster Unemployment Assistance programs.  Workers who exhaust their initial UI benefits may be eligible for an extension of UI benefit payments through supplemental UI benefit programs – the Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefit programs.  All benefit payment requests are subject to audit by the State Comptroller prior to payment.

To accomplish our objective, we selected benefit payment requests for examination based on risk, using “filters” we embedded in the DOL UI payment system.  In addition, we performed other tests designed to identify conditions not readily found by our filters. We used the results to identify and recover any inappropriate payments and to prevent future inappropriate payments.  During our examination period, over $24.3 million payments, totaling over $6.6 billion, were made to claimants for the UI Program.  Of this, we selected 61,735 payment requests and related payments for examination.
Additionally, we matched the DOL UI Benefit Overpayment File to the New York State Payroll File to identify newly hired New York State employees who owed DOL money for outstanding benefit overpayments.

Key Findings

  • Our examination identified 8,622 inappropriate payment requests and related payments totaling almost $3.1 million.  This includes $1,165,050 in inappropriate payments, $479,903 in payment requests our Office stopped before they were paid, and $1,427,622in future payment requests that would have been paid over the life of the UI claim had DOL not taken corrective action based on our findings.
  • As a result of our current and past examination efforts, DOL has collected $1,060,466 from claimants and New York State employees. This includes $607,346 from claimants for UI penalties DOL assessed as a result of our findings and $453,120 from New York State employees we identified as overpaid by DOL in prior examination periods.
  • Our examination identified 118 newly hired New York State employees that owed $228,075 to DOL for UI overpayments.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure staff follows established policies and procedures when processing claims.
  • Establish and implement controls to prevent overpayments resulting from limitations in the DOL UI payment system identified in this report.
  • Recoup overpayments identified in the report from claimants, as appropriate.

For a complete copy of Report 2012-BSE-3A-001, click here.


Division of Contracts and Expenditures
Bernard J. McHugh, Director of State Expenditures

Phone: (518) 474-4868 Email: stexpend@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Contracts and Expenditures
110 State Street, 10th Floor; Albany, NY 12236