Pennsylvania L&I Announces $3.1 Million Federal Grant to Promote State Unemployment Insurance Program Integrity and Performance Improvement Projects

Nov 08, 2013, 11:30 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Julia Hearthway today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Pennsylvania a $3.1 million grant for unemployment insurance program integrity, performance and system improvement projects.

"The Corbett Administration has already implemented a number of unemployment compensation system reforms to ensure the integrity of the state's system," Hearthway said. "Pennsylvania's Justice Network (JNET) cross-matching system alone, which identifies and stops benefit payments to unemployment compensation (UC) claimants who are incarcerated, is estimated to save the UC Trust Fund nearly $104 million this year."

Known as the 2013 Unemployment Insurance Program Integrity Awards, the grants were awarded to states that have either implemented or committed to implement a set of core integrity activities that will reduce fraud, waste and abuse.

These grant awards provide for performance enhancements, the development and deployment of state-identified strategies that proactively prevent improper payments and support efforts to identify program processes that may contribute to fraud. 

The Office of Integrity (OOI) has already implemented several initiatives to reduce fraud, waste and abuse, primarily in the unemployment compensation system.  In addition to JNET, OOI now works with the federal government to recoup UC overpayments by garnishing federal tax refunds and blocking claims filed from foreign Internet provider addresses. These changes have saved more than $21 million in taxpayer funds.    

The grant funds will be used to conduct a business process review, improve state performance and address outdated information technology system infrastructures necessary to improve unemployment insurance program integrity.

Media Contact: Theresa Elliott, 717-787-7530

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry