How To Repay Overpaid Unemployment Benefits In Texas?
Updated : August 5th, 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the United States by storm. It has shuttered the economy leading to a drastic increase in the unemployment rate. In Texas alone, the unemployment rate was 13% in May, and about 2.7 million people have filed for Unemployment Insurance (UI) since mid-March.
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has paid over $800 billion federal and state funding unemployment benefits and is expected to pay more in upcoming days. However, now the state law wants overpaid Texans to repay the money back to the TWC. So, how do you repay overpaid unemployment benefits in Texas?
In this article, we will guide you through the process of repaying the overpaid benefits, but before that, let us learn more about the overpayment of benefits in Texas and its reasons.
Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits In Texas
More than 46,000 Texas who lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic were overpaid by the Texas Workforce Commission, which now wants the money back. The overpaid benefits sum up to $32 million. The Commission had received those 46,000 claims through a combination of online portal and mails.
Cisco Gamez, state agency’s spokesperson, stated, “State law requires the Workforce Commission to recover overpayments of unemployment benefits. Overpayments will stay on the claimant’s record until repaid.”
It is unclear how many of the unemployment overpayments are due to TWC’s errors and how many are due to claimants’ fraud. After The Texas Tribune’s request, the agency is collecting data on the overpayments due to fraud.
On average, the Workforce Commission has overpaid nearly $700 per person. These payments account for more than 1% of the total applied claims.
The Texas Workforce Commission said that it would send a Determination letter on payment of unemployment benefits to those who are overpaid. The letter would include the reason for the overpayment, weeks that were overpaid, and the amount of money one must repay.
TWC stated that it would mail a statement of an overpaid unemployment benefits account, that is a billing statement, within 30 days following the date of determination of overpayment. The statement would include instructions and steps on how to repay the overpayment. The Commission added that 30 days later, it will send a second billing statement that includes a repayment schedule, provided the case is not prosecuted.
Possible Reasons For Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits
An overpayment of unemployment benefits occurs when you receive a payment that you are not entitled to. Some of the reasons for overpayment include:
- Providing false or incorrect details about the job separation
- Providing incorrect information about work search when applying for unemployment benefits or requesting payment
- Not reporting income or submitting incorrect income when filing for benefits
- Failing to register with WorkInTexas.com or local One-Stop Career Center if living outside of Texas
- Not participating in job assistance programs conducted by Workforce Solutions or Reemployment Services
- Having appeals that reverse the eligibility after receiving unemployment benefits
- Correction of earning errors that result in a lower benefit amount than calculated initially
- Not reporting accurate job separation details
The Texas Workforce Commission said that if the agency determines that the overpayment is due to fraud, you must repay the benefits that you were not entitled to. You will also be required to pay 15% penalty on the payment that you have received through fraud.
Why Repay The Overpaid Unemployment Benefits?
State law requires you to repay the payment. TWC will not dismiss or forgive an overpayment, and this can affect your unemployment benefits in the future. You should repay the overpayment because:
1. When applied for benefits, TWC will deduct the amount from the eligible benefits until the overpayment is repaid.
2. The overpayment remains on the claim record until it is completely recovered.
3. State funding for students will not be released until TWC recoups the overpayment.
4. The Texas State Comptroller may withhold certain payments until it recovers the overpayment. That means you cannot collect your lottery winnings, unemployment insurance, or state work-related expenses (except for wages), and unclaimed property.
5. The Texas Workforce Commission can take legal action to recover the money.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits From Another State
If you have been overpaid and you are receiving Unemployment Insurance from another state, TWC can ask that state to recover the overpaid amount. The other state will then send unemployment benefits to TWC as per its laws and repays the overpayment.
Overpayments From Another State
If you have an overpayment in another state, they can request the Texas Workforce Commission to send your unemployment benefits until the overpayment is recovered. If the overpayment is collectible from TWC, the authorities will notify you about the same.
You should continue to file biweekly payment requests so that TWC can process each eligible payment toward repaying the overpayment. Once the overpaid amount is recovered, TWC may pay you any remaining benefits, as long as you are still filing an unemployment claim.
How To Repay Overpaid Unemployment Benefits In Texas?
You can repay overpaid unemployment benefits by mailing your check or money order to TWC Revenue and Trust Management, P.O. Box 149352, Austin, TX 78714-9352.
If you are unable to repay the entire overpayment amount at a stretch, you can request TWC a repayment plan. TWC will review your overpayment and set up a repayment plan if it meets the required criteria. For more information, call 512-936-3338 or Email at [email protected].
What If You Don’t Agree With TWC?
If you have received an overpayment notice but do not agree with TWC, you can file an appeal. Texas has three levels of appeal.
- Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal
- Appeal to the Commission
- Motion for Rehearing or Appeal to a Civil Court
You can first appeal to the Appeal Tribunal. If you are not happy with its decision, you can re-appeal to the Commission. If you are unhappy with the decision of the Commission as well, you can re-appeal to a Civil court. Visit https://www.twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/introduction-unemployment-benefits-appeal-process to know more about the appeal process in Texas.
Do not panic if you have received overpayment notice. Follow the instructions provided by the Texas Workforce Commission and repay the overpaid unemployment benefits. Remember, if you fail to repay, the authorities can take legal action against you.
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