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Which States Are Asking To Repay The Overpaid Unemployment Benefits?

Updated : October 28th, 2020

Millions of Americans were paid Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. While some received the entitled amount, many others were mistakenly overpaid. Since the overpayment is against the federal laws governing UI benefits, many states are asking to repay the overpaid unemployment benefits. This article will tell which states are trying to recover the overpaid amount and what you should do if you are overpaid. 

States That Are Asking To Repay The Overpaid Unemployment Benefits

Many states are asking claimants to repay the extra or overpaid unemployment benefits. Some of them include: North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and Texas

While the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) overpaid about 185,000 people between March 1 and September 15, under the regular UI program, the Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio, paid about 108,000 people eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA).

States can waive repayments of certain unemployment benefits programs. But the PUA program, which was established under the CARES Act to provide benefits to the self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, and others who are otherwise not qualified for the unemployment program, is administered differently than other types of unemployment programs. Hence the states would ask the claimants to repay the overpaid amount.  

Reasons For Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits 

There are various reasons for the overpayment of unemployment benefits. Some of them include:

  • You have accidentally entered incorrect earnings
  • The state has miscalculated the amount of the benefit
  • You have not informed the state that you have begun a new job
  • You have intentionally given incorrect or misleading information when filing a weekly claim 

What Happens If You Are Overpaid?

If you are overpaid, the Department Of Labor (DOL) of your state will notify you about your state trying to recover the additional payments. The notice may also indicate that you were overpaid or get lower unemployment benefits or no benefits until the additional payments are recovered. The Department of Labor can change the amount of your entitled benefits based on new information about your work search activity or any other crucial factors. 

What To Do If Your State Asks You To Repay The Overpaid Benefits?

Suppose you receive a notice from the DOL regarding the overpayment but do not agree with it. In that case, you have the right to determine if the Department believes you were overpaid or if your unemployment benefits will change. This can be done through a fact-finding interview.  

During the interview process, you will have to give all the information and evidence that supports your claim to the Deputy. The Deputy will review your case and send the judgment in writing. 

If you were overpaid due to no fault of your own or incorrect information you submitted mistakenly, you could consider filing an appeal or an overpayment waiver. 

How To File For Overpayment Waiver?

If you believe that overpayment was not your fault and you cannot repay the additional amount, you can file an overpayment waiver. You can request an overpayment waiver by filing the Social Security Administration (SSA) form. 

After filing the form, do any of the following to prove that you have requested the waiver in writing. 

  1. Get 2 copies of the form to the SSA office and request them to date stamp the copies. Give them one copy for records and another keep for yourself. 
  2. Fax the form to the Social Security office. Keep the fax confirmation printout. Also, make sure that Social Security has received the fax.  

SSA will receive your form and decide if the overpayment was due to your fault or not. It will also determine if you promptly informed them about your income and your present financial situation. If SSA determines that you have been receiving additional payments but haven’t informed the authorities, it will consider the overpayment was due to your fault. 

What Happens If You Get The Waiver?

If you get the waiver, some or all of the repayment may be suspended. If your overpayment is partially waived, the state will recover the remaining amount by deducting from your future unemployment benefits.

What Happens If You Do Not Get A Waiver?

If your waiver gets rejected, you will have to repay the overpaid amount to the state. The overpayment collection process varies from one state to another. While some states like Illinois recover the overpaid amount by asking the individuals to allow the state to keep up 25% of the future unemployment benefits, states like North Carolina let individuals repay the amount by credit, debit card, or money order. 

Determine how your state’s overpayment collection process works and negotiate a payment plan. If you fail to repay or make a payment plan, the Labor Department may issue a civil warrant to recover the payment. Your lottery winnings or state income tax refund can also be used to repay the overpayment. 

File An Appeal With Supreme Court

If you still believe that you are eligible for a waiver, you can file an appeal in Superior Court (80C appeal) but within 10 days from the date of receiving the waiver rejection. 

The Superior Court will examine the facts and evidence (if any) submitted by the Department. If the Court finds the Department’s decision unconstitutional, it may change the Department’s decision regarding your waiver appeal. 

Note – If the overpayment was a mistake, you would be required to pay 1% monthly interest, starting one year following the overpayment.

Closing Thoughts 

If you suspect or believe there is a mistake in the amount of benefits you are receiving, then keep your expenses under control as you can repay the Department Of Labor, if it sends you a notice of overpayment at any time. But if you believe that you are not receiving the entitled amount, file an unemployment appeal. 


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  1. So I have been getting ue for 6 months and on Oct 21 I had a fact finding issue found and cleared after taking a month, I got put on hold I got nothing no benefits nothing because I am on hold until cleared up and it was another month later in my favor, I’ve been without payment since Oct 21 since then I have been on HOLD, I am beyond pissed, I call every Fri I see the letter I received saying its in my favor that says I am Monetary Eligible-yet I still have 6 payments on hold. I call DEO and I talk, I beg and I get told “we are working on it”, the letter is in my favor I am poor not rich I am poor Why how do you people get away with this

  2. Hello

    I’m 59 years old and was laid off in March 2020 due to Covid.
    In June 2020 I was advised my job was eliminated and there is no chance of me
    Being brought back. I’m collecting UI since March.

    Pondering the thought of taking my early retirement pension as I can’t survive on
    UI any longer. My pension is of course reduced due to my age. Full pension is age 62.

    If I apply for early reduced pension in this situation, does my UI benefit get decreased? I’m in New York.
    I’m still looking for full time work. No luck.

    Thank you so much

  3. i was just layed off from my job, i did collect benefits in pa. my job is seasonal igot unemployment payments in jan. to april i had 26 weeks of unemployment , but only used about 13 weeks, and was called back to work. i received 2 weeks of 600 dollars of stimlus money. my question is now that i reopened my 2020 claim . i,m i still elegibe for any more stimlus payments along with my regular unemployment payments.

  4. I am 65 yrs old in California and being layed off in Dec 2020. If I apply for unemployment benefits and collect a company pension, will the pension reduce the unemployment benefits ? If you answer call unemployment what is the department or do you have a phone number for a help line. I have called and get automated questions that do not apply to my situation.
    Cannot get to a live person.

  5. Several years ago I was part of a reduction in force and was early-retired for pension purposes. I count on this small pension ($2K/mo) to supplement my employment which has been inconsistent this past two years. I am filing for UI in IL and I qualify for it, but they are saying my pension reduces my UI benefit to zero. Is that right?

    1. Mike,

      That is partially right. The pension will have an impact on UI benefits. Please check for relevant info on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  6. I have $219.00 left on my UE and still no work due to covid-19 will i be able to get a extension on my UE and will it cover the last two weeks. I request payment tomorrow.

      1. My benefits have expired, still.unemployed due to over 65, wdiebrtes, high blood pressure and have one kidney, Can I get PUA , Cares Act for any assistance

  7. im working at a place i have been layed off from a lot in my career.i got 30 yrs in there so i can retire now but need another job to make it hoping to stay working and get more hours.If i take a new job and get layed off there I will BE DRAWING 1400 A MONTH FROM THE JOB I WORKED 30 YRS would i be able to draw unemployment if the new job lays me off and would it be reduced because of my retirement money of 1400 month.

  8. My bf was laid off in April he got the the 600 to start with now he is only getting the unemployment and no extra when we hear ppl getting 3 checks totaling 40k that might be lies but still that is bullshit.

  9. I Sharon Bland or Sharon Scott or Sharon Ann Mccraw
    Use my phone to claim two of my boyfriends and my own benefits. Is that ok ?

  10. I’m getting pua on employment and it was supposed to be backdated to May 27th when I wasn’t ableable to start my new job and somehow it’s August 24th they said it would be backdated been sending messages and pua people keep saying they have emailed you guys too but nobody gets back to me who do I need to contact about this thank you

  11. I check my checking account balance every week but I cannot tell if I am getting my 300.00 extra unemployment. Also. How can I tell if I got my back time unemployment .

    1. Thelma,

      I did not understand what you meant. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for precise answers to all your questions.

  12. I have exhausted my UI and all extensions. Not eligible for Fed Ed. Does EDD open a PUA claim for me. Or do I have to aoole for it. Its been past 30 days since receiving my Fed Ed denial letter.

  13. i have been unemployed for the whole year almost and since i have been trying to distance myself to better my all around health, it took me this long to file for benefits, i was hoping to get back pay all the way to the beginning.

    1. Zach,

      To qualify, the claimant is required to have sufficient earnings/employment during the “Base Period”. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website for more.

  14. Thank you o much for investigating this. When I received an overpayment statement and my benefits where stopped I felt my heart drop to my stomach. Already being evicted by a slumlord and now no income, i had to start working when i feel very at risk for getting the virus because of pre-existing conditions and the reason for filing in the first place. i am a cosmetologist and considered non-essential. I feel utterley hopeless and helpless in this situation.

  15. I cannot contact anyone in the unemployment offices because the phone hangs up on me in all cases after listening over and over the recorded message. I have called three numbers .

    I have received pandemic unemployment since March 31st. There was a pending adjudication but I never received any questions, letters nor emails about it and I was approved and paid. Now…this is what the website says:
    7 of 7 entries
    Issue Identification Number Employer Name Issue Type Status Date Mailed Level
    0002 7693 59-01
    PUA Pending 11/16/2020 Adjudication
    0002 4773 71-01
    Program Integrity Mailed 11/6/2020 Adjudicati
    Claimant Inbox
    Select the Search button to display your action items. To narrow your search, input issue date range below and select the Search button.
    Issue Date: From: To: 11/6/2020 to 11/16/2020
    • Below are the items that require your attention and that you need to take action on for your claim.
    • Select the Document ID
    I need this money to survive as others do while I am trying to re-establish any contract freelance work I am capable of doing….I report my small jobs as I get them but they do not come close to equaling my unemployment as of yet. Please tell me where I can go to find out what is needed here.

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