USA Today reporter Jessica Menton understood why some Americans are getting too much money, unemployment benefits, whereas others do not see the money at all, and told about his own experience of returning excess payments. Hereinafter in the first person.
In April I was suspended from work, first I tried to get unemployment benefits. But, ironically, the problem was solved not the way I expected: I don’t just pay, but overpay. Yet millions of Americans do not receive unemployment benefits, some people, like me, has the opposite problem: the government gives us too much money — all the money we must return.
The media company Gannett is my employer and the publisher of USA TODAY, in late March, said that in the second quarter, some reporters and editors will be temporarily suspended from work. In accordance with the Law CARES was created federally funded program of unemployment assistance during a pandemic, which provides unemployment benefits for discharged workers are usually not eligible for traditional benefits.
I applied for benefits in new York via the Internet at the end of April after my first week of forced vacation, but then got the message that my application was incomplete and you need to call the Department of unemployment. But I couldn’t get an answer from a real person for a month, only listening to automated messages.
System unemployment States were overwhelmed after mid-March 42 million Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits because the companies affected by the pandemic, the mass dismissed employees.
After persistent calls, while on the phone for hours and talking to several people, I got the application. A few days later I received the first payment. A week later, after checking Bank account I found out there is a whopping $4000. It couldn’t be real amount: I don’t even confirmed his last request, while continuing to receive error messages. So I immediately alerted the employer appealed to the labour Department in new York.
“Such problems are extremely rare, and probably occur after the new Yorker incorrectly delivers the certificates”, — said the press-Secretary of the Department Dinna Cohen.
According to her, nobody was able to predict a wave of applications for unemployment benefits, which struck the United States because of the pandemic. All States had a hard time, but “new York had moved mountains to pay the unemployed billions of dollars of benefits”.
Overpayments of unemployment becomes more
It is still unclear how it happened with me. But one thing is certain: I am not alone. Many people across the country received an overpayment, including employees of the media company in Florida.
Virginia is another state with issues of overpayment. In may, the employment Commission of the state has notified approximately 35,000 self-employed people that they are overpaid from 600 to 1200 dollars — money that, according to the Agency, will be deducted from future checks.
Susan Hiltz from Macomb, Michigan, faced the same problem. 60-year-old Holtz was fired in March from of the police athletic League Oakland County. In may she received an email from the Department for unemployment in your state, which said that there made a mistake and overpaid her about $ 1,300 in benefits. They quickly realized the problem that she didn’t notice the extra. The money removed from her account and fixed it the same day.
44-year-old Nena Perez suffered from underpayment. A single mother living in the Bronx in new York, was forced to apply for unemployment benefits in March because she had to stay home to take care of two children aged 10 and 13 years. Perez, who was previously a health worker at home Health Acquisition, received a series of payments in April and early may, but the money stopped coming, and no one answered her calls to the Department of unemployment.
“I didn’t eat anything, just to have my children had food, says Perez. — As they give people more money? Are you kidding me? I can’t even get paid for the week. It hurts.”
Some did not know that they overpaid
People in other States was not easy to return the money. Some didn’t even know that they overpaid.
24-year-old Savannah Fosdick was dismissed in March at Starbucks in Olympia, Washington. It was textbook PUA in April, a woman was awarded the money retroactively. But then the payments abruptly ceased in mid-may. The authorities then told her that she needs about 1200 dollars in overpaid benefits. Now she can’t call anyone from the Bureau for unemployment and do not know how to return the money.
“I’m worried. I overpaid when I was approved?, — asks Fosdick, adding that the pause in payments has affected her financially, because she supports the mother on disability. — My utility bill increases. It’s really annoying.”
As I sent the money back
In new York I was not fined for the mistake. According to Cohen, those who overpaid will receive written notification with instructions on how to send a check or money order for the return amount.
They have not been able to withdraw money from my Bank account as Hiltz from Michigan.
You can send a postal payment the whole or part of the overpayment.
Those in other States, experts advise not to spend money, and overpaid to keep them. You need to contact the state office for unemployment and wait until they notify you by mail about how to return the money.
Be sure to return the money
If you do not return the overpayments, possible unpleasant consequences. This may be considered cheating, you can deny tax refunds and even put in jail. If it was an accident, it is not technically fraud, but you might need a lawyer and a lot of money to prove it, says Laurie Yadoff, lawyer legal aid in Florida.
“I wouldn’t be surprised seeing in the future more overpayments, says Adoff. — If it’s not your fault, from the overpayment can be waived, or you will have to return it in installments.”
Later if you need unemployment benefits, the government may deny benefits to you to pay off debts. For example, if the government believes took place a deliberate infringement, and false representations about unemployment, you may not get food stamps even if you have a right to them.
The law CARES expanded the circle of persons subject to allowance, which allows the self-employed, independent contractors, temporary workers to qualify for benefits, although before they had no right to them. But this potentially created more problems for the systems of unemployment assistance in the state.
Overpayment on unemployment you can “catch up” suddenly
Helen Moyer of Orlando, Florida, have problems with the overpayment after she was forced to apply for partial unemployment due to dismissal. 43-year-old mother of three began receiving benefits in March. But then the flow ceased.
Trying to get someone to answer her calls, she eventually learned that had to return $ 550 overpayment even in 2015. It was to her shock, since she had no idea about this problem.
Moyer returned the debt, but over the past two months she has not received any additional unemployment benefits because of a failure of the online system of Florida.
“I was shocked and disappointed, says Moyer, concerned as it is next month will have to pay 2650 dollars per house with four bedrooms. — What happens when I can’t pay the bills?”