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It is easy to make a mistake with your Unemployment Compensation and get overpaid in benefits. The Pennsylvania Labor and Industry will sometimes err on your side and miscalculate your weekly benefit amount. What should do? How can you get overpaid in unemployment benefits? How can you pay back an overpayment? This guide will answer these and other questions you may have if you have to deal with a UC overpayment.
Types of Overpayments
Non-fault overpayments. As their name indicate, these overpayments occur when you get paid benefits you are not entitled to, but without any fault of your own. Generally, this is due to a clerical or computer programming error. When this type of overpayment is spotted by the UIA’s system it gets automatically deducted from your benefits. You will be informed before a deduction takes place and the weekly deduction will never be more than one-third of your weekly benefit amount to avoid excessive hardship on your family budget. However, if the overpayment is less than $100, the deduction will be taken in full regardless of your weekly benefit amount.
If you spot a non-fault overpayment, report it and repay it, to avoid delays and further reductions.
Fault overpayments. As I’m sure you guessed, fault overpayments occur when you try to cheat the system and are caught or you make a mistake in your benefits claim. This can occur if you claim to have more dependents than you actually have, or do not declare earnings from a part-time job while you receive benefits. The PA unemployment agency will require you to pay back fault overpayments with interest. You can repay overpayments voluntarily or they will be deducted from future unemployment benefits or wages, if you are currently employed.
How can I pay back and overpayment?
To repay an overpayment, whether a fault or non-fault overpayment, you can send a check or money order to the Pennsylvania UC Fund. Address the payment to the Office of UC Benefits, Claimant Services, PO Box 67503, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7503. Print your full name, SSN and daytime telephone number on check or money order. Never send cash.
Bounced checks. If you pay an overpayment with a check and it bounces, you will have to pay a dishonored check penalty. The penalty for a dishonored check of $10 or less is $10. The penalty for a check lower than $100 but larger than $10 is the value of the check, while checks larger than a $100 incur in a penalty of $100.
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