The California government would like to renew its contract for a software program designed to flag fraudulent unemployment claims. However, a nonpartisan agency says that 50% of the unemployment claims flagged for fraud ended up being legitimate claims, throwing a wrench into people’s ability to claim unemployment benefits the last few years.

The Kansas City Star further stated that:

The state’s aggressive moves to combat fraud have caused problems for legitimate claimants. In December 2020, the state used software owned by a Thompson Reuters subsidiary to review nearly 10 million unemployment claims. The state then abruptly cut off benefits associated with 1.1 million of those claims, forcing people to verify their identity with the state.

But 600,000 of those claims, or more than half that were frozen, turned out to be legitimate. People had to go days or weeks without payment while they tried to sort things out with the state. Alamo told lawmakers on Tuesday if the state approves those anti-fraud contracts, it would move “the department in the wrong direction by emphasizing fraud elimination potentially at the expense of the department making prompt and straightforward benefit payments to unemployed workers.”