Vermont wants evidence that pandemic unemployment recipients were eligible

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - In 2020, as COVID-19 shuttered businesses and forced millions out of work, the federal government flooded states with funds to set up new unemployment programs. Now, a year after one of those programs expired in Vermont, the state is asking recipients to prove that they qualified.

Roughly 17,000 Vermonters who enrolled in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program did not submit documents and the state now says it needs to verify their work history. The Vermont Department of Labor has spent more than six months trying to collect the federally mandated paperwork and has only made it through about a third of the backlog. It now expects the effort to spill into next year.

Darren Perron spoke with Seven Days’ Colin Flanders, who wrote about the story in this week’s issue.