Audit Finds Massive Overpayments To Tennessee Unemployed

At the end of last year, the unemployment rate in Tennessee was 7.6 percent. Photo Credit Absolute Rights

At the end of last year, the unemployment rate in Tennessee was 7.6 percent. Photo Credit Absolute Rights

A new audit says the state overpaid more than $73 million in unemployment benefits.

Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development has only been able to recover about 20 percent of the total. Collection agencies are trying to get back the rest.

The audit also claims the overpayments led to delays and backlogs for applicants with legitimate claims.

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he’s not surprised to hear of the mismanagement.

“To say that that department has been unresponsive and hard to work with would be an understatement,” he said.

The department’s commissioner resigned this month citing family reasons.

The comptroller’s findings are part of a comprehensive audit looking at how state agencies use federal money.

Blake Farmer contributed to this report.


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