What is an overpayment?

Overpayments can result from claimants not reporting earnings. The Division of Employment Security conducts a Benefit Payment Control program to detect and prevent improper payment (overpayment) of benefits. The primary means of detecting overpayments are cross-matches with new-hire data and quarterly wages reported for claimants by employers. When a match is made, the DES sends an Audit and Investigation form to the employer to confirm whether or not benefits were overpaid.

When the DES determines a claimant for unemployment benefits failed to report earnings, the claimant will be required to repay those benefits. Some overpayments are the result of honest mistakes. However, if the claimant committed fraud in obtaining benefits, he/she can be assessed an additional monetary penalty, as well as possibly having his/her benefit rights canceled and being arrested, fined, and imprisoned.

If a claimant has received unemployment benefits and later receives legally required back pay for the same period, an overpayment results. If an overpayment is established under these circumstances, the employer is required to withhold the amount of the overpayment from the back pay. This amount then is paid to the DES by the employer. The employer should call the DES to find out the amount of the overpayment.

Example: A claimant is receiving benefits for the first three weeks of January 2009. A court determines that due to an existing contract, the claimant must receive his/her regular pay for those three weeks. The employer contacts the DES who determines what was paid out in unemployment benefits and the employer will withhold those amounts from the back pay to reimburse the DES for the overpayment as the claimant is not entitled to those benefits after the fact.

Unemployed Workers

  1. When will I receive benefits?
  2. How do I make my weekly request for payment?
  3. What are my appeal rights?
  4. How do I file an unemployment claim?
  5. Do I have to report in person?
  6. What is a waiting week?
  7. How is eligibility determined?
  8. I made a mistake when I filed my claim for unemployment benefits. How can I correct this?
  9. I forgot my user ID and/or password for signing into my account. How do I reset this information?
  10. How are my benefits figured?
  11. Can I use wages I earned in another state, the military, or the federal government?
  12. How do I change my contact information?
  13. Are there extended unemployment compensation benefits available?
  14. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits while I am receiving severance pay?
  15. How can I get information about my claim?
  16. What do I do after starting a claim?
  17. Do I need to search for work?
  18. What do I do if I go back to work?
  19. How do I renew my claim?
  20. Can I work part-time and receive benefits?
  21. What happens when I file a new claim?
  22. What is an overpayment?
  23. What is Trade Adjustment Assistance?
  24. Can benefits be denied?
  25. Are my benefits taxable?
  26. What happens if I am overpaid?
  27. Will other income reduce my benefits?
  28. Will I be charged fees when I use my Missouri Access MasterCard®?
  29. How are benefits paid?
  30. What if I am discharged?
  31. Who can I call with questions about my unemployment claim?
  32. How does moving out of Missouri affect my unemployment benefits?
  33. What if my name changes?
  34. Will the employer be notified when a claim is filed?
  35. How can I get help finding a new job?
  36. Can volunteer activities affect my unemployment benefits?
  37. What if I try a new job, but it just doesn't work out?
  38. What is a benefit claim?

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