Cottie Petrie-Norris

Measure to prevent rampant EDD unemployment insurance fraud enacted

After California lost more than $810 million taxpayer dollars last year to unemployment insurance (UI) fraud, legislation to implement standard fraud-prevention practices at California’s Employment Development Department (EED) was signed into law. AB 110, authored by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, requires EDD to cross-check unemployment claims against incarceration records in order to prevent paying fraudulent benefits.

“EDD’s inability to detect and prevent fraud must never be repeated. We have a duty to our taxpayers to ensure that their dollars are going into the right hands,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “California will now implement basic business practices to prevent fraudsters from taking advantage of a glaring loophole in the current system.”

Although other states cross-check lists of unemployment benefit claimants against incarceration data, California law restricted sharing inmate information with other state agencies. AB 110 now enables EDD to easily cross-check claimants’ information, including social security numbers, against the relevant information in the database of inmate information maintained by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and by the counties.

“The rampant statewide fraudulent unemployment claims scheme involving state prisoner applicants is a breakdown of catastrophic proportions that has failed the American taxpayer,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “AB 110 is absolutely essential in minimizing the loss of taxpayer dollars to fraud. Had a mechanism been in place to block this money from distribution to ineligible prison inmates, untold millions of dollars would have been safeguarded. The state of California owes a debt of gratitude to Assemblymember Petrie-Norris for her leadership on this issue and for remaining unwavering to protecting precious taxpayer dollars.”

AB 110 is supported by CalChamber, California State Sheriffs’ Association, Orange County Business Council, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Peace Officers Research Association of California and Southwest California Legislative Council.

This article was released by the Office of Representative Cottie Petrie-Norris.

2 Comments

  1. Forgive me, but I believe the amount of money that California lost to Unemployment fraud is closer to $30 Billion, not the $871 Million that you cite in this article. Check your facts!

  2. I think this is great as far as it goes, but the EDD has another problem. We have processed dozens of repeat EDD claims for our clients where the same employee files every couple of months and every time the employer (or us) have to stop and reply with the same information that the State already has. They are hoping the employer makes one mistake or is one day late in reply and the employee gets paid. Even when the State has copies of termination forms and evidence that they refused the claim the first time.

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