What happens if I am overpaid?

The Division of Employment Security discovers improper payments in various ways. If the DES finds you were employed and did not report wages or reported wages incorrectly and received benefits, it will investigate. You must provide the information needed for the DES to determine what action to take.

If you receive unemployment benefits to which you are not entitled, you must repay them, even if someone else made the mistake that caused the incorrect payment. The DES will inform you why and by how much you were overpaid. If you believe the notice is incorrect, you have the right to appeal.

You can repay an overpayment in a lump sum, or you can request a payment plan. If you are claiming benefits, all or part of the weekly benefit may be applied to the overpayment.

It is to your advantage to repay overpayments as soon as possible. Otherwise, the DES will recover the amount due from your future benefits, state and federal income tax returns, and lottery winnings. This means you will be without benefits when you need them.

If you deliberately make a false statement or withhold information to receive benefits, your benefit rights can be canceled, you may face penalties of up to 100 percent of the overpaid amount, and you can be arrested, fined, and imprisoned.

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