Iowa to get federal grant for unemployment benefits program

In this Oct. 1, 2015 photo, a shopper walks past a store with a "Help Wanted" sign in the window, in New York.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
In this Oct. 1, 2015 photo, a shopper walks past a store with a "Help Wanted" sign in the window, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa department that processes unemployment checks will receive a $500,000 grant from the federal government to improve fraud detection and to modernize outdated computer systems.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday it is distributing more than $30 million in grants to 39 state agencies including Iowa.

Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Portia Wu says the goal is to ensure system integrity and to improve efficiency.

The money can be used by states to develop strategies to prevent and detect improper payments to individuals that continue to claim benefits after returning to work and to improve accessibility to the program.

In addition, Iowa is in a three-state consortium with Idaho and Vermont that will receive $14.5 million for projects designed to improve overall quality, performance and integrity.

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