General World News

Mississippi paid out $118 million in improper unemployment claims, largely due to fraud and stolen identities

In this photo illustration, hands are seen counting US $100 bills.

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Americans received $600 weekly unemployment benefits under the CARES Act in March, but the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found in May that a portion of those funds fell into the wrong hands due to failures in detecting fraud. Mississippi just affirmed those findings on a statewide level — with a number attached. 

Mississippi State Auditor Shad White released a report on Tuesday that found the state had distributed $117,948,403 in improper unemployment insurance claims, or 5.5% of the claims distributed during fiscal year 2020. The report outlined the following characteristics of the incorrect payments: