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Indiana Workforce Development says 23% of jobless claims are fraudulent

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — To receive unemployment benefits, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development requires the identity of the person to be verified through a private company.

This week, News 8 helped Selena Adams get her identification verified, and the state still can’t find her information. Adams thought by now she would have received part of her unemployment benefits, but she hasn’t.

Adams told News 8, “Yes, after you called (the Department of Workforce Development), a gentleman Facetimed me, and we went through it together, and he gave me confirmation and e-mail, which is not showing yet on the unemployment that he sent them. It is still processing … so, again,” she’s still waiting.

She’s been out of work for months and hasn’t received unemployment benefits since October. She has phoned and emailed Workforce Development every day since October. On Wednesday, she was promised a call back from Workforce Development; no one called.

Workforce Development told News 8 on Thursday that 23% of the people who have attempted to verify their identities have been flagged as suspected fraud cases. The bureaucratic tape is slowing down the process for Adams and others just trying to keep their heads above water.  

“You know, I’m getting shifted in the middle, and nobody is doing anything. I know it is not on purpose. I know they are not doing it intentionally, but, you know, people have children. If it wasn’t for my family, I wouldn’t be making it,” Adams said.

The state is paying $4 per identity verified, and The Federal Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act requires that all Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants have their identity verified. The act also highly recommends that claimants in all other unemployment assistance programs have their identities verified due to the nationwide identity theft fraud schemes that are occurring. 

The state Department of Workforce Development says the new identity verification procedures has kept fraudsters at bay. However, the process is slowing down legitimate claims from being processed in a timely manner.