The Department of Economic Opportunity believes it needs access to the state driver’s license database to stop reemployment assistance fraud. House lawmakers are one step closer to giving the agency what it wants.
The Department of Economic Opportunity administers the state’s unemployment assistance program. The agency and St. Cloud Republican Representative Mike LaRosa argue fraud is a major problem.
“When suspicious claims are identified by DEO,” LaRosa says, “DEO requires claimants to provide a photo ID. Some of the IDs that are provided are also fraudulent. Either using their own photo or sometimes a stolen photo with someone else’s identifying information.”
LaRosa’s measure gives the department access to Florida’s driver’s license database to double check applicants are who they say they are. It’s a longstanding request of the agency, but many critics argue its aggressive pursuit of fraud delays legitimate benefits.