Pandemic Fraud Likely Reaches $135B Unemployment Relief

The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates the amount of unemployment insurance fraud during the pandemic is between $100 billion and $135 billion. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Posted September 18, 2023

The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates somewhere between $100 billion and $135 billion of unemployment insurance fraudulent activity occurred during the pandemic, according to a report released Tuesday.

The amount of stoled aid would account for approximately 11 to 15 percent of the total unemployment insurance benefits issued during the pandemic from March 2020 to March 2023.

“We now estimate that the amount of fraud was higher, with our new range of $100 billion to $135 billion falling above the lower limit that we reported in December 2022,” according to the report.

In August, the Department of Justice announced over 700 new enforcement actions against 371 defendants for more than $836 million in alleged fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic.

View the full GOA report, here.