TEXAS, USA — The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) issued 46,651 notices of over-payment of unemployment benefits to Texans, which totals more than $32 million since March 20, 2020, according to a spokesperson for TWC.
The more than 46,000 notices were a combination of mailed and online portal claims. On average, TWC overpaid about $700 per person, but those payments account for a little more than 1% of total claims filed.
TWC attributes errors caused by users, such as marking incorrect information on their unemployment claim, as the reason for a majority of the errors.
According to the organization, an over-payment is caused when TWC pays unemployment benefits that someone was not eligible to receive. State law requires TWC to recover all unemployment benefits over-payments, the organization told KVUE.
- Not reporting earnings or reporting incorrect earnings when requesting benefit payments.
- Correction of wage errors resulting in a lower benefit amount than initially determined because the wage history we used to establish your claim included errors or belonged to another individual.
- Providing incorrect or false information about your job separation or work search when you applied for benefits or requested payment.
- Having an appeals ruling reverse your eligibility after TWC paid you benefits.
- Not participating in Reemployment Services or other job assistance programs with Workforce Solutions when required.
- Not registering with WorkInTexas.com or with your local One-Stop Career Center if residing outside of Texas.
- Committing fraud.
Those with over-payments due to error by the TWC will not have to pay the money back, according to a TWC spokesperson. That spokesperson indicated that is not usually the case--less than 1% of errors historically fall on TWC, he claimed.
However, if someone is determined to have an over-payment, TWC said it will mail them a Determination on Payment of Unemployment Benefits letter explaining the reason for his or her over-payment, what weeks were overpaid and the amount of money he or she must repay.
TWC said that within 30 days of the date it determines someone had an over-payment, the organization mails a Statement of Overpaid Unemployment Benefit Account – i.e. a billing statement – with instructions on how to repay the over-payment. TWC added that approximately 30 days later, it will mail a second billing statement with a repayment schedule, unless the case is being prosecuted.
TWC told KVUE that over-payment notices may be paid back with a payment plan due to COVID-19, and repayment is not necessary in order to continue to receive future unemployment benefits.
TWC said it is important to promptly repay an over-payment because:
- The over-payment stays on your claim record until you repay it in full.
- If you apply for benefits, TWC will apply each eligible payment toward reducing your over-payment until the over-payment is repaid.
- The Texas State Comptroller can recover your over-payment by withholding certain payments to you. That means the state cannot pay you lottery winnings, unclaimed property, unemployment benefits, or state job-related expenses, except for wages, until you repay the over-payment in full.
- Some state funding for college students cannot be released until you repay the over-payment in full.
- TWC can take legal action against you to recover the money.
According to the TWC, if the organization determines that the over-payment is unemployment fraud, he or she must repay the benefits they were not eligible for with an additional 15% penalty on the benefits he or she incorrectly received. For more information, see TWC's Unemployment Benefits Fraud page.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: