Howzit Howard - Unemployment Benefits

(HawaiiNewsNow) - A labor department study says millions of people may be collecting unemployment despite having jobs. We hardly ever hear about unemployment fraud - but a federal report says it's going on.

The labor department cross checked data for three years up to the end of June.

It found improper payments topping 19 billion dollars - including 42 million paid out by Hawaii.

That was 5 1/2% all the jobless benefits Hawaii paid out. For every 19 people who really were out of work, there was some other guy collecting checks unlawfully.

Five and a half percent is pretty embarrassing, but the national average was more like 10%.

More than half the improper payments were made to people supposed to join the local job bank who didn't.

Kilakila employer services says 18% of payments were made to people who found work but kept claiming benefits.

Another 16% were cases were unverified cases that might be more of a bureaucratic problem than outright fraud.