Puerto Rico has been included in the list of states and territories that will receive funding for unemployment insurance program integrity, performance and system improvement projects, getting an assignment of $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Unemployment insurance is a critical lifeline for people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, and the Department of Labor is responsible for safeguarding the program so that it remains available to those who need it,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This funding will help ensure that state UI programs run efficiently and effectively for the long term.”
Activities supported through Thursday’s announced $169.9 million in funding include conducting cross-matching with the National Directory of New Hires to prevent UI payments to re-employed claimants; implementing the State Information Data Exchange System and related messaging tools to target improper payments of those moving across state lines; and implementing the Treasury Offset Program administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which allows offsetting UI overpayments with federal income tax returns, the agency said in a statement.
These integrity investments will work in conjunction with other strategies being utilized to hold states accountable for improved prevention, detection and recovery of improper payments, including newly required annual reporting on state actions to address improper payments, new state performance measures, and quarterly tracking of state implementation of core strategies and individual state improper payment data, she said.