Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
MacIver News Service | September 14, 2011
In March, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), started to cross match their data with the Department of Health Services to combat inmate fraud in unemployment insurance claims. As of September 2, the number of over-payments to 236 inmates was $325,416.
According to an official in the Department of Workforce Development about 75-135 jailed individuals receive unemployment insurance on a monthly basis.
DWD Deputy Administrator Andrea Reid deemed about half of these claims to be fraudulent. The other half would be people who are booked over-night or jailed on a short-term basis who therefore are still eligible to file and receive payment for unemployment claims.
“The typical scenario for inmate fraud is the spouse, the girlfriend, the mom, actually reporting for that claimant,” said Reid.
The MacIver News Service recently reported on the Governor’s Commission on Waste, Fraud and Abuse, where a new system to combat UIf fraud was discussed.
Unemployment benefit fraud in
Even with the cases of fraud increasing, few people have been successfully prosecuted for it. In order to face punitive action, a person must have fraudulently received more than $5,000 in benefits and committed 5 acts of concealment. In 2010, 2,169 people met those requirements, yet only 31 of them were prosecuted. That resulted in 11 convictions.
“The one week waiting period was a 55 million dollar highway robbery of workers without any recommendation from the advisory council,” said Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) during legislative debate on the waiting period.
Jauch and many of his fellow Democrats were upset that the legislature was acting upon an unemployment-related policy item without the direction of the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council. But Republicans, including DWD brass, argued the move was an integral component of their plan to root out fraud.
“[The waiting period] actually ends up saving us about $50 million a year, because if you look at the first week when a termination or a resignation occurs, it gives the department the opportunity to evaluate what is that particular employee owed, if anything,” DWD Secretary Scott Baumbach to the MacIver News Service this summer. “It cuts down on over payments. It cuts down on fraud.”
The DWD says it plans on soon running cross matches with with the Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as Department of Health Services. According to Reid, the cross match with DOJ, “will be much more timely and should reduce over-payment amounts.”
Because of the surge in unemployment claims made by its residents in 2009 and 2010,
If the amounts in