W.Va. Prison Inmates Receive Unemployment Benefits

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Being behind bars usually means an end to unemployment benefits. But that didn't happen in the case of dozens of West Virginia inmates.

A legislative audit released Tuesday says around $150,000 in benefits were paid over the last three years on behalf of claimants who were either in prison or jail.

Auditors had WorkForce West Virginia check for the Social Security numbers of all inmates during that time period. The agency oversees unemployment compensation, and found it had paid 700 weeks' worth of benefits on behalf of at least 26 inmates.

In one case, the benefits ran for a total of two and a half years.

Auditors say some claims could have been filed not by inmates, but by family members.

WorkForce West Virginia's fraud unit continues to investigate.


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