Local News

Audit: State overpaid unemployment compensation

Posted March 19, 2012

Employment Security Commission building

— A state audit released Monday shows the North Carolina Division of Employment Security has made some gradual improvement but is still overpaying unemployment compensation.

The state paid $105 million in Federal Additional Compensation last fiscal year. Of that, $689,000 was overpaid, according to the audit. Auditor Beth Wood said she thinks the state should be able to recover that money.

Between July 2008 and June 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor found that North Carolina paid $534 million more than it should have in unemployment benefits.

The audit also found that the state paid $4.4 billion in unemployment insurance benefits last fiscal year, and the auditor found 190 instances of duplicate payments totaling $45,000. The auditor found another 1,500 instances where people got paid for an extra week, for a total of $46,569 in questionable overpayments.

Division officials say some people were receiving an extra $25 a week. The state is working to get that money back.

"Twenty-five dollars is a lot of money at this difficult time," said Marjorie Auth, who is unemployed. "That would be very sad to hear that if they asked for that back, because it certainly wasn't the fault of those people."

Employment Security Commission Audit: State overpaid unemployment compensation

Dallas Hinton, who has been out of work for the past 18 months, said he would have to cut back on his job searches and interviews if the state cuts his pay by $25.

"You need the money for gasoline," he said, adding that he would like the unemployment system to "be more accurate."

The auditor also said the Workforce Investment Act files did not contain sufficient or appropriate documents to determine if people were eligible for benefits. The auditor reviewed 60 cases and found 11 that did not have proper documentation.

In the past two years, audits revealed more than $1 million in overpaid unemployment benefits, caused by a computer glitch that took months to fix. The commission borrowed nearly $3 million from the federal government, which it hasn't paid back yet.

79 Comments

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  • zonk Mar 20, 9:37 a.m.

    oooo How surprising !

  • commonsense4 Mar 20, 9:32 a.m.

    No surprise here at all. For every conscientious, hard worker in a state agency, there are at least 3 clueless, uncaring, lazy, do-nothing state workers. Even though there are no unions, supervisors never fire these useless workers on our dime. They just get lost in the system doing nothing for years. If every state agency was truly audited, 25% of the jobs in every agency would be deemed unnecessary. This is no doubt true throughout the whole country. Call any state agency, and see what type of people you have to deal with!

  • pbjbeach Mar 20, 9:03 a.m.

    SPEAKING OF COMPUTER GLICHES HAS THE NCDOT EVER GOT THEIR WONDERFUL BECON PAYROLL SYSTEM FIXED TO THE POINT THAT IT HAS QUIT MESSING UP STATE EMPLOYEE PAYROLL CHECKS. ALSO THE STATE AUDITOR NEED TO DEMAND THAT THERE BE AN INVESTIGATION INTOT HE CONTRACT PAYMENT AN THE LINE ITEM THAT ARE BEING PAID FOR IN THESE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS TO CONTRACTING ENITYS ACROSS THIS STATE FOR LINE ITEM SUCH AS UNDERCUT EXCAVATION THAT HAS BEEN PAID FOR WHEN THERE WAS NEVER ANY NEED FOR THE UNDERCUT EXCAVATION IN THE FIRST PLACE ON A PROJECT WHEN THE CONTRACTOR WAS UNDERCUTTING BENETH A PREFECTLY GOOD HILL OF SAND CLAY TYPE MATERIAL BUT CONTRACTOR WAS ALLOWED TO GET PAID FOR THIS UNDERCUT JUST SO AS TO INCREASE THE NEED FOR MORE ADDITIONAL BORROW MATERIAL IN ORDER TO BACK FILL WITH . THIS WAS A TOTAL WASTE AN FRAUD AGAINST THE STATES TAXPAYING CITIZENS THANK YOU

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Mar 20, 8:32 a.m.

    just wait until these same people are working on your medical insurance.

  • Mar 20, 8:16 a.m.

    Owe they dont care how much it cost to get it back its not their money anyway they just want everyone to do the right thing. They want you to give your money "right" back to them.

  • Mar 20, 8:12 a.m.

    So let me get this right some bigwig embezzels money gets caught the state wants to keep it quiet so they come up with the we overpaid solution and now want the unemployed to pay for it. Sounds like a movie of the week to me. Its just plain scary how much the government quote unquote over pays then they want it back. You know what government I want my money that was used in the bank bailout back I believe that you overpayed them.

  • Riddickfield Mar 20, 8:08 a.m.

    LOL at the guy that said if they cut his unemployment benefit by $25 he'd have to cut back on his job searches. Somehow I don't think he is serious about finding a job.

  • muggs Mar 19, 7:59 p.m.

    So Bev is giving a Gov's pardon to all ESC employees.

  • computer trainer Mar 19, 7:49 p.m.

    Bev has already said that NO ONE will have to pay back the overpayments. Nothing has changed since Nov of 2010, except they have armed guards at the unemployment office.

    Bev's answer was to put the unemp office under commerce, to save money, but no one was let go. A lot of changes had to be made, though, that cost thousands. All the political appointees are still sitting there, drawing their fat paychecks.

  • are you kidding me Mar 19, 7:46 p.m.

    this is not good, but no recourse here

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