Apparent unemployment insurance correspondence from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) sent to an address in Mississippi joins the list of examples of problems handling the government program.
At a time when the state government has claimed increased authority to act under the orders of a single executive, the governor, and when comfort with increased government control of Americans’ lives appears to be growing, various incidents show strain in the DLT.
Anita Baffoni reports for WPRI that the state has paid out $12 million in fraudulent unemployment this year. The department director, Scott Jensen says, “Our fraud mechanisms are much more robust then they were but again it continues to be a cat and mouse game with these fraudsters all over the country.”
Other stories, however, give the impression that unemployment is a service that practically invites fraud in the Ocean State. Last week, for example, Brittany Comak told the story on ABC6 of a Colorado woman who has been receiving a steady stream of calls to her cell phone from Rhode Islanders apparently trying to reach the DLT for help with unemployment insurance problems.
Similarly, the Ocean State Current has received images of two envelopes sent to an address in Jackson, Mississippi.
Given the size of different programs, a spokesperson for the DLT told the Current that, “statistically,” the letters are “most likely related to unemployment insurance.” The spokesperson also noted that people who live out of state may still be eligible for unemployment benefits if they have qualifying Ocean State income, but acknowledged that the issue with these letters appears to be the incorrect zip code.
The letters were sent to two different women at the same address. The Current was unable to confirm the existence of such a street address in the area of West Warwick known as Jackson, although it exists in several other Rhode Island towns. Neither woman appears on voter lists or tax rolls in West Warwick, either.