FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) – As thousands scramble for benefits and many report cases of fraud, Kentucky lawmakers met on Tuesday to discuss how to improve the tax system state unemployment insurance.
State unemployment insurance officials say they are trying to do “deep dives” to uncover the heart of the problems plaguing the state system. Offers to replace it are expected in the middle of next month.
“To date, we are exactly on track with this process,” said Jamie Link, Secretary of the Labor Cabinet. “We anticipate that these proposals will be received on October 19.”
The unemployment claims upgrade system will cost over $ 47 million, and state labor and manpower officials are on the second ‘bid’ process to get the best system in the world. lower cost to taxpayers.
Sone officials believe it could be beneficial to upgrade the existing system instead of replacing it entirely.
“It appears to be a waste of taxpayer money,” said Rep. Phillip Pratt (R-Georgetown). “I am extremely concerned about this.”
Labor and manpower officials say they are working to both assess existing claims and reduce the thousands of fraudulent claims.
“We had 58,000 people who logged into this fraud link,” said Buddy Hoskinson of the Office of Unemployment Insurance. “We have advised what to do if it is an identity fraud, what to do to protect yourself.”
State labor and unemployment officials have been asked if a person who has lost their job for not receiving a COVID-19 vaccine would be entitled to benefits. Officials said they couldn’t answer yes or no, only “it depends” and the allegations should likely be investigated.
“We can’t give a comprehensive answer,” said Morgan Eaves of the Kentucky Labor Office. “It depends on the policy of the employers, how they publicized the policy, and it creates a problem in the claim that needs to be investigated.”
Much of the discussion has centered on the new computer system which officials say prevents the nightmares of the past 18 months.
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