Illinois Checking Unemployment Rolls for Prisoners

420 people behind bars found receiving benefits so far

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012  |  Updated 7:30 PM CDT
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State: More Than 400 Inmates Got Unemployment

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says it has started checking the roll of people receiving unemployment benefits for those who might be ineligible because they're in jail.

Spokesman Greg Rivara said the department found 420 people receiving benefits who were behind bars sometime during the first two weeks of the review. Now the department will check to see if they might have been only briefly locked up and were still eligible or if they really weren't available to work.

Availability to work is a key part of the criteria to determine unemployment eligibility.

Rivara said about 253,000 people currently get unemployment benefits.

The department started the checks after Rep. John Cavaletto complained about potential fraud among inmates at the Marion County Jail.
 

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