“Based on stat pool and imputation techniques, GAO estimates fraud in unemployment insurance programs to be between $100 billion and $135 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the document states.
As noted, this represents 11-15% of total unemployment insurance payments during the pandemic from April 2020 to May 2023.
“This assessment covers all 53 states participating in regular and temporary unemployment insurance programs,” the agency added.
The report highlights that knowing the full extent of fraudulent funds during the pandemic will likely never be possible.
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