Pa. jail inmates collecting unemployment

Feb. 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Pennsylvania officials say they are moving to correct an oversight that allowed inmates in county jails to collect unemployment benefits from behind bars.

The Philadelphia Daily News said 1,162 inmates got an average of $344 a week for an average of 18 weeks -- or more than $7 million given to convicts already being housed at the public's expense.

The oversight was possible because a Pennsylvania labor department database was only set up to cross-check applicants' Social Security numbers with those of people serving time in state or federal prisons. County jails weren't included, officials said.

Once approved, the labor department generally uses a direct deposit payment method, meaning prison officials never spotted checks arriving as they opened inmates' mail. Only a biweekly phone call is necessary to renew benefits.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said his administration has moved to correct the oversight.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Topics: Tom Corbett
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korea on missile cruiser deployment to Japan: U.S. 'will burn'
North Korea blasts South's idea of unified system
Puerto Rico not able to pay more than $72 billion in debts
North Korea calls U.N. human rights commissioner 'mediocre peddler'
Seven arrests made in Tunisia hotel killings