Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Overpayments
Overpayments happen when the government determines that you received unemployment compensation benefits that you were not eligible for, even though they paid you.
How do I know I have an overpayment?
If the government determines you have an overpayment, they will send you:
- A Notice explaining why there is an overpayment; and
- A Notice explaining the amount of the overpayment and the type of overpayment.
What kinds of overpayments are there?
For the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, there are two types of overpayments: fraud or non-fraud.
A fraud overpayment happens when the government decides that you knowingly or intentionally lied to the government or knowingly withheld information to make yourself eligible for benefits.
- If you have a fraud overpayment:
- Interest is charged to the overpayment amount
- The government can take your entire weekly benefit amount until the overpayment is fully paid off.
- The government can intercept your federal tax refund.
- The government cannot garnish your wages.
If you receive notice of a fraud overpayment, you should appeal immediately. Even if you were not eligible for the benefits, if you did not intentionally mislead the government, you can explain that to a UC Referee and ask them to change the overpayment to a “non-fraud” overpayment.
A non-fraud overpayment means that the government paid you benefits that you were not owed, but not due to any intentional misconduct on your part.
- If you have a non-fraud overpayment:
- You are not required to pay back the overpayment.
- There is no interest on the overpayment.
- The government can offset/deduct ⅓ (one-third) of your future unemployment benefits (for up to 4 years) until the amount is repaid.
Some PUA claimants have received overpayment notices due to an error made by the government which resulted in double payment of their benefits. These overpayments are “non-fraud.”
Can I repay the money?
You can choose to repay the money by mailing a check made payable to “PA UC Fund” to: Office of UC Benefits, UI Payment Services, PO Box 67503, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7503
You should include your full name and social security number on the memo line. We strongly recommend taking photos of any check you send so that you have records of the payments.
Is there a waiver of overpayments in PA?
Yes. Pennsylvania claimants with non-fraud overpayments for PUA (or other federal programs, like PEUC and FPUC) can apply for waiver using a form provided by the government or by submitting this form on our website: www.philalegal.org/waiver.
If you are denied a waiver, you have the right to appeal.