DEW director: Overpayments down, collections up

By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's interim unemployment director says the agency is overpaying less and recouping more of the excess benefits that are doled out.

John Finan says the Department of Employment and Workforce has collected millions in reimbursements this year through residents' federal income tax returns. That program was launched in January.

Finan says overpayments are largely due to people claiming they're still unemployed after getting a job or businesses failing to report their new hires.

Legislators have been highly critical of an overpayment rate that reached nearly 18% of all benefits paid in 2011. Finan says the rate should drop to 10% by summer.

Senators will question Finan's successor about further reducing those numbers. Gov. Nikki Haley named New York labor lawyer Cheryl Stanton as her choice last week.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.