WASHINGTON, D.C – Last week, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) joined 14 of her Senate colleagues, led by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), in reintroducing legislation to help recover taxpayer dollars lost to unemployment insurance (UI) fraud and provide incentives for states to recover fraudulent payments. The introduction of the legislation follows ongoing concerns that just a sliver of the funds lost to misspent unemployment insurance has been recovered—slightly over $5 billion of an estimated $191 billion. 

“It’s important that funding meant to help American workers after their jobs were put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic be distributed the way it was intended, not to those who would illegally manipulate the system to enrich themselves,” Senator Capito said. “Fraud at any scale, and especially with this much taxpayer money, cannot be tolerated. I look forward to seeing this bill pass quickly in the Senate in order to recover fraudulently-acquired federal dollars.”


The Protecting Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act would advance efforts to claw back federal funds stolen through UI fraud and pursue recovery of fraudulent payments by ensuring identification, investigation, and prosecution of criminal fraud in pandemic unemployment programs. It also gives the federal government and states better tools to detect and prevent future fraud in federal UI programs. The U.S. House of Representatives, led by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.-8), last week passed a companion bill (H.R. 1163).

The Protecting Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act:

  • Allows states to keep 25% of recovered fraudulent overpayments of federal funds.
  • Allows states to use recovered funds to improve program integrity and fraud prevention.
  • Allows states to keep 5% of state UI overpayments, conditioned on meeting data matching integrity conditions, and dedicating those funds to preventing future fraud.
  • Extends the statute of limitations for criminal charges or civil actions from 5 to 10 years.

Full text of the bill can be found here.

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