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State looks for beneficiaries not looking for work

The Washington Employment Security Department wants $1,400 back from a bride who said she applied for work on her way to the altar.

The unidentified woman was collecting unemployment benefits while in Texas for her wedding, according to a department news release. She claimed she applied for a job at an El Paso theater.

The department had seen this movie before, about 9,000 times: The number of individuals who did not seek work in 2010 while collecting $23 million in benefits.

Spokesman Jamie Swift said ESD last year reviewed the job-search logs of 66,000 claimants who received unemployment benefits for more than five weeks.

If checks with employers do not confirm an individual has sought work three times per week — a requirement for benefits — the department seeks refunds, he said.

ESD paid out $4.6 billion in unemployment benefits in 2010, Swift said. 


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