(Newsroom America) -- An inside audit of payments found that the government overpaid unemployment benefits by about $14 billion last year, meaning scores of Americans could be on the hook to pay them back.
A U.S. Labor Department report found that the excessive payments, which happen frequently with government unemployment benefits, amounted to about 11 percent of all payments in fiscal year 2011, CNN/Money reported Monday.
The report noted that Indiana was the worst offender; the state made more improper payments that correct ones.
As a result of the department's findings, the federal government, along with the states, have launched an effort to recoup some of the overpaid funds.
Despite the overpayments, however, the Labor Department report noted that most benefits are paid to those in need. The Census Bureau noted that in 2010 alone, jobless benefits payments helped keep some 3.2 million Americans out of poverty, CNN/Money said.
The report noted that the majority of overpaid funds went to three types of people: those not actively seeking work; people who were fired from a job or who quit voluntarily; and those who continue to file claims though they've gone back to work.
Any of those conditions make someone ineligible to receive jobless benefits.
In more rare instances, unemployment benefits have been paid to people deliberately filing false claims, prison inmates and the deceased, the report noted.
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