Cavaletto measure has stopped inmates from receiving over $725 million in unemployment

SPRINGFIELD — Rep. John Cavaletto, R-Salem, has announced an update to a measure he sponsored in 2011 to stop inmates from collecting unemployment benefits while they’re incarcerated.

Rep. John Cavaletto (Source: ILGA)
Rep. John Cavaletto
(Source: ILGA)

According to Cavaletto’s update, due to the 2011 initiative he sponsored, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has eliminated $725,425,226.50 in over payments and fraudulent payments to incarcerated individuals.

Cavaletto says the initiative is a common-sense idea that was brought to him by a local reporter now working for Withers Broadcasting in Centralia, after she discovered a man had been collecting unemployment benefits while incarcerated in the Marion County Jail.

The House Resolution moved IDES to begin cross-checking benefit recipients with jail intake logs for the first time beginning in November 2011 and within the first month over 400 inmates stopped receiving fraudulent payments and within the first year more than $120-million was saved by taxpayers.

Following Cavaletto’s initial efforts in 2011, additional cross-checks have been added to uncover fraudulent unemployment claims including the review of the National Directory of New Hires in 2012, Work Search databases in 2014, the Secretary of State database also in 2014, and last year an Enhanced Inmate Crossmatch as well as an Invalid Social Security Number review.