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Hoosier Unemployment Claim Mistakes, "A Gross Distortion"

Last updated on Thursday, September 15, 2011

(UNDATED) - The U.S. Department of Labor says Indiana makes mistakes on nearly half of all unemployment claims — but the state’s head of that department says that number is “a gross distortion.”

Indiana's unemployment error rate is 43-percent. Only Louisiana is worse, and no other state is above 27-percent.

Indiana Workforce Development Commissioner Mark Everson says the figures are misleading because of the way the government defines errors. Indiana requires unemployment recipients to search for at least one job each week -- but their weekly check-in form offers three spaces to fill in. If you only fill in one or two, the feds count that as incomplete.

The Department of Labor says four out of five of Indiana's errors related to the job-search requirement or an online registration form. The department has a separate measure of overpayments it considers state agencies' fault. Indiana's rate of three-percent is the nation's 11th best.

Vice President Biden highlighted the 50-state report Wednesday as an example of the administration's efforts to root out "waste, fraud and abuse." Everson calls that a "gross distortion," and says the government is "nuts" if it thinks it can boot nearly half the state's recipients of jobless benefits off the rolls.

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