RALEIGH — State Rep. G.L. Pridgen is asking for public comments concerning unemployment fraud.
Pridgen, a Republican representing Robeson, Scotland and Hoke counties, and state Rep. Marilyn Avila, a Republican representing Wake County, are co-chairs of the N.C. House of Representatives Task Force on Unemployment Fraud, which is currently looking for ways to protect the unemployment system from abuse.
According to a statement, Pridgen and Avila have announced the establishment of an online public comment period for state residents to voice their concerns and ideas for protecting and improving the unemployment system.
“We’re asking North Carolinians to reach out with their experiences, observations, or suggestions for preventing unemployment fraud,” Pridgen said. “In my district, I’ve discovered several startling cases of unemployment fraud and my concern is that there are similar stories out there that have not been brought to our attention.”
Pridgen also said that the task force is seeking ways to improve the integrity of taxpayer investments in the state’s unemployment insurance system.
“Fraudulent over payments undermine the solvency of this important program, which serves thousands of temporarily out-of-work North Carolinians,” he said.
According to Avila, the task force is looking at ways to address an estimated $160 million in annual fraudulent over payments.
Anyone wishing to submit their ideas and comments, especially those who have experienced fraudulent overpayments, can make submissions through the following website: \http://ncleg.net/gascripts/Committees/Committees.asp?sAction=ViewCommittee&sActionDetails=House+Select_151.
The public comment period will be open until 5 p.m. on May 2.