Audit Finds Jail Inmates Getting Welfare and Unemployment Benefits
An audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has found that hundreds of inmates in upstate county jails received more than $500,000 in improper benefits.
DiNapoli's auditors found 351 inmates in Chemung, Onondaga, Orange, Schenectady and Warren counties received state unemployment insurance benefits of nearly $325,000.
The audit also found improper payments of more than $236,000 from various social welfare programs. For instance, auditors found 313 inmates at jails in Chemung, Onondaga, Orange and Schenectady counties received Safety Net Assistance benefits. Seventy-five inmates received inappropriate Medicaid benefits.
DiNapoli's office says the welfare benefits were paid out due to deficiencies in monitoring the eligibility of jail inmates.
Auditors blamed a combination of potential fraud and delays in providing the state with information for the improper unemployment insurance benefits.