Audit: Prisoners, dead among those receiving unemployment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Dead people, prisoners and state employees are on the rolls of those receiving unemployment benefits in Tennessee, in spite of repeated warnings that the state is improperly paying out tens of millions in jobless claims.

Those were among the findings of a state comptroller’s office audit released Tuesday that said the unemployment benefit system made overpayments of $98 million in the past six years. It estimated a backlog of payments could balloon that figure to $171 million.

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development officials took issue with that estimate and other findings in the audit.

Officials said in an email that they have overpaid $165 million in the past six years but have been able to collect $71.5 million of it and continue to pursue the money.