MADISON, Wis. — As Congress debates extending long-term unemployment benefits for some 1.3 million Americans, lost in the heated rhetoric  are some very important numbers for taxpayers.

The state and federal unemployment insurance system has helped a lot of people in need, but it’s also allowed some ineligible recipients to fraudulently help themselves to the pocketbooks of businesses and taxpayers. States recorded some $7.7 billion dollars in improper unemployment insurance payments in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Estimated improper payments run as high as 18.16 percent in NebraskaLouisiana posted the highest estimated fraud rate in the nation last year, at more than 7 percent.