SAN JUAN – The secretary of the Department of Labor and Human Resources (DTRH), Carlos Rivera Santiago, said on Friday that 42,000 possible cases of fraud in unemployment and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA, for its acronym in English) have been detected.
“This number includes all types of cases or different fraud schemes. That includes schemes such as identity theft, using Social Security or someone’s personal information, it may be that the person lied under oath or used different names or different addresses, “said the secretary at a press conference.
According to the secretary, there were cases in which one person allegedly made 15 fraudulent claims.
Regarding government employees, there were 9 thousand people who requested the benefit that did not correspond to them. In the case of municipalities, 3,000 employees were detected.
Even the president of the Transition Committee, Ramón Luis Rivera Cruz, mentioned that when he attended the Department of Labor to process the applications for unemployment and PUA, they detected 73 employees.
“There were 10 employees who returned the money, 36 who have payment plans, 16 who never received the money and 11 who claimed they had another job,” said the mayor.
So far, $ 56 million fraudulently requested have been returned.
On the people who can qualify for the benefits but have not charged – for the so-called controversial points – there are 40 thousand people.
Finally, he mentioned that the labor participation rate is at 20 percent, but unemployment is estimated at 8.3 percent. He explained that the unemployment rate calculates if the person definitely has no expectation of returning to his job and not if he is temporarily unemployed as a result of the pandemic.