The amount of unemployment benefits unduly paid by ONEm (National Employment Office) is rising every year. This is not due to errors made by ONEm or the paying bodies (i.e., unions), but the result of a more efficient fight against fraud, commented ONEm after the publication of articles by Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen on Thursday. ONEm highlights that more checks took place, both before and after payment. “These checks are done more and more often with modern and efficient tools. Therefore they bring about more and more results,” pointed out ONEm. Undue payments can be either avoided, or billed to the recipients.
ONEm points for example to 22 different ways databases were cross-checked in 2014. Additional checks dealt mostly with family circumstances and possible overlapping of unemployment benefits and sickness allowances. he number of checks on companies dealing with legal house help soared to 1,000 per year: this led to the recovery of 23 million euros.
ONEM’s annual report for 2014 reckoned the total of undue benefits paid reached almost 140 million euros (including not just benefits but house help as well). In 2011, the total was 93 million euros.
Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)