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Conn. Labor Dept. Received 100K Fraudulent Unemployment Claims Over Past Year

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In Connecticut, the Department of Labor said it received close to 100,000 fraudulent unemployment applications over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The agency said the fraudulent claims involved identity theft and false information and were not paid out.

Kurt Westby is the Department of Labor Commissioner. In a press release he said fraud creates delays by pulling the staff away from processing legitimate applications and getting unemployment payments to rightful claimants.

Agency officials said multiple systems are in place to flag applications for review. All of the reviews are seen by staff and none are automated.

Westby said of the near 2 million workers in the state of Connecticut, close to 600,000 became unemployed at some time last year.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.