If you are one of the 750,000 or so unemployed New Yorkers you have already endured an awful lot of hardship. What would you do if you had to pay back some of your benefits? In some cases, the state has overpaid benefits -- and they’re now asking for the money back.

What would cause an overpayment? According to New York State, an overpayment occurs when you receive Unemployment Insurance benefits that you were not entitled to. This could occur for a number of reasons. These may include:

  • You made a mistake when claiming weekly benefits - If we made a mistake it should have been pointed out to us!
  • You were not ready, willing and able to work. - Seems subjective
  • You did not complete the required work search activities for a week or weeks. - Activities? Too busy actually trying to find work
  • You knowingly gave us false or misleading information when filing a claim or claiming weekly benefits. - Well if you did that you probably need to give the money back. 
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CBS6 says, the New York State Department of Labor gave out more than $114 million in relief to applicants who turned out to be ineligible BUT the state needs to prove that the claimant intentionally tried to mislead them.

Here are 9 million things you should know:

  • If you were overpaid, you will receive a written notice in the mail.
  • The Notice of Determination to Claimants for Overpayment gives instructions on how to request a payment plan.
  • Overpaid benefits and monetary penalties can also be collected by taking your state or federal tax refund.
  • If you collect benefits in the future, those benefits will be offset to recover any remaining overpayment that you have not repaid.
  • Failure to pay the monetary penalty may result in legal action against you.
  • If you disagree with the overpayment determination, you have the right to request a hearing.
  • A monetary penalty is assessed if the Department of Labor determines that you willfully made false statements or representations, or purposely withheld pertinent information, in order to obtain benefits.
  • Click HERE to see the balance of your debt
  • The Department of Labor only accepts, by mail, checks or money orders. Phone and online payments are not available.

There are 9 million more items to research HERE if you like. The state may have the right to take the money back but in some cases, especially in a pandemic, it feels wrong.

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