HOUSTON (February 21, 2013)--State officials acknowledge nearly $3.4 million in unemployment payments were distributed to inmates over the last four years, in violation of state rules meant to prevent such payouts.
KHOU-TV in Houston reported that more than 1,700 cases of inmates erroneously collecting benefits.
The Texas Workforce Commission, which oversees unemployment payments, says lists of eligible recipients are checked against names of those incarcerated in state prisons, but or county inmates, and federal ones, are not checked.
Those filing for benefits must meet various criteria, such as being available for full-time work.
The commission says it recently launched a $450,000 program to better detect fraudulent claims.
It includes compiling more comprehensive listings of inmates statewide.