New York State Department of Labor - Unemployment Insurance Payments to County Jail Inmates (2015M-278)

Issued Date
December 02, 2016

[read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) discontinued unemployment insurance (UI) benefit payments to county jail inmates in a timely manner for the period January 1, 2013 through May 19, 2014.


Unemployment Insurance is a benefit program administered by NYSDOL that provides temporary income to eligible workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Individuals who are incarcerated in jails are not eligible for UI benefits. NYSDOL has the responsibility for monitoring jail inmates’ eligibility for UI benefits.

Key Findings

  • NYSDOL does not have complete and accurate inmate records, which limits its ability to effectively monitor the appropriateness of UI payments to jail inmates.
  • We project that county inmates received potential inappropriate UI benefit payments totaling $581,525 while incarcerated.

Key Recommendations

  • Work with the New York State Sheriffs’ Association or county Jails to obtain accurate and complete inmate data.
  • Continue to improve monitoring efforts to stop inappropriate UI payments.