Letters: IDES busy fighting fraud
December 12, 2012 8:08PM
Updated: January 14, 2013 6:08AM
On Nov. 28, Judy Lake (Common Sense) wrote about a new anti-fraud program designed to stop unemployment insurance payments to people in jail. The inmate cross-match program is one of several anti-fraud initiatives the Illinois Department of Employment Security launched in the past year.
Fighting fraud and protecting unemployment insurance is critical. When Gov. Pat Quinn appointed me 18 months ago, he made his priorities clear: turn the IDES into the state’s employment office, assist families facing economic hardship and advocate for taxpayers by fighting waste, fraud and abuse.
Each week, we take a list of jail inmates and cross-match it against a list of individuals collecting unemployment. We determine if there is a legal reason to be on both lists, and, in fact, more than 10 percent of the names consistently fall into that category. We also know some inmates do not realize that while they are behind bars, a friend or spouse takes their identity and their unemployment dollars. We identified the fraud and we stopped it.
With the fraud blocked, our focus now turns to recovering the dollars and prosecuting the appropriate cases.
The inmate cross-match program is among several new initiatives in the past 12 months that fight fraud and combat abuse. IDES has a similar program that compares lists of people working against lists of people collecting unemployment. The department now garnishes federal income tax returns of those who wrongfully collected benefits and refuse a repayment program.
Illinois is a nationally recognized leader in fraud prevention. Protecting against waste, fraud and abuse is critical to our mission to put people back to work. Please report fraud to IDES at 800-814-0513 or online at www.ides.illinois.gov.
Jay Rowell, director
Illinois Department of Employment Security
Shame on ‘liberal media’
Throughout the past six years, we have heard Democrat politicians demonize the tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush as “tax cuts for the wealthy.” These tax cuts, we were told, were only benefiting the rich. The mainstream media amplified these statements without much examination.
Now, after the media’s preferred candidate has been re-elected, the talking points have reversed. Now, the mainstream media is reporting on what will be the devastating impact if the tax cuts are not extended for the middle class.
Both of these statements cannot be true. Either the tax cuts applied only benefited the rich, or the benefit of the tax cuts applied to all taxpayers. The president, and the complicit media, cannot have it both ways.
Shame on the media for allowing their preference for President Barack Obama to trump their responsibility for unbiased reporting.