In Fight Against Unemployment Fraud, S.C. Releases App - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

In Fight Against Unemployment Fraud, S.C. Releases App

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The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce on Tuesday unveiled a new smart phone app designed to combat widespread fraud in the state's unemployment benefits system.

The free app, called iClaim, allows users to file the required weekly unemployment reports, but it also allows the state to track fraud.

S.C. DEW spokeswoman Adrienne Fairwell said the app uses a phone's GPS technology to track an applicant's whereabouts, something she said will allow the state to nab those who apply for benefits while out-of-state.

A 7 On Your Side Investigation in July 2013 uncovered $54 million taxpayer dollars went to those who didn't deserve the money, including jail inmates and those who had a job. The investigation also found that some employers ignore rules designed to stop "double dippers," or those who collect benefits while employed.

S.C. DEW said unemployment benefits fraud costs taxpayers about $30 million each year.

But the app isn't only designed to stop fraud; it's also aimed at those who need help with the benefits process.

"You can do it from your home, or wherever you at," said Shannon Thompson of Spartanburg. "It's quicker." Thompson recently lost her job and has applied for unemployment benefits. She said since she uses her smart phone for virtually everything, she plans to check out the new app.

The app, which is now available on the Apple App Store, will be available for Android devices later this year.
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