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Wasted aid

Wasted aid

(Illustration by Rachel Beatty)

$11.4 billion

The amount in unemployment benefits involving fraud the state of California has paid out during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the state’s Employment Development Department. That figure is 10 percent of pandemic-related benefits the state has paid. A state audit blamed protocols at the department for not safeguarding benefit payments.


The amount of cash the U.S. Justice Department has seized in investigating fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program payments.


Overpayments made as part of the Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance program between March and December 2020.


The amount the U.S. Small Business Administration loaned to ineligible businesses as part of pandemic relief programs.


The amount of the federal government’s first round of economic impact payments that went to dead people.