x
Breaking News
More () »

Southeast Texas's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Southeast Texas, Texas | 12NEWSNOW.com

Texas Workforce Commission overpaid $32 million to 46,000 unemployed workers. Now it wants that money back

Those with over-payments determined as unemployment fraud must repay the benefits plus a 15% penalty on the benefits received.

TEXAS, USA — The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) issued 46,651 notices of over-payment of unemployment benefits to Texans, which totals more than $32 million since March 20, 2020, according to a spokesperson for TWC. 

The more than 46,000 notices were a combination of mailed and online portal claims. On average, TWC overpaid about $700 per person, but those payments account for a little more than 1% of total claims filed. 

TWC attributes errors caused by users, such as marking incorrect information on their unemployment claim, as the reason for a majority of the errors. 

According to the organization, an over-payment is caused when TWC pays unemployment benefits that someone was not eligible to receive. State law requires TWC to recover all unemployment benefits over-payments, the organization told KVUE. 

Here are some of the causes of over-payment, according to TWC: 

  • Not reporting earnings or reporting incorrect earnings when requesting benefit payments.
  • Correction of wage errors resulting in a lower benefit amount than initially determined because the wage history we used to establish your claim included errors or belonged to another individual.
  • Providing incorrect or false information about your job separation or work search when you applied for benefits or requested payment.
  • Having an appeals ruling reverse your eligibility after TWC paid you benefits.
  • Not participating in Reemployment Services or other job assistance programs with Workforce Solutions when required.
  • Not registering with WorkInTexas.com or with your local One-Stop Career Center if residing outside of Texas.
  • Committing fraud.

RELATED: 

Nearly each sector saw jobs increase in June, but TWC warns of possible 'uptick' in unemployment claims for July

'Texans should not feel pressured into working in unsafe conditions' | Petitioners ask TWC to clarify rules

Need a job? Texas had the most openings in May

Those with over-payments due to error by the TWC will not have to pay the money back, according to a TWC spokesperson. That spokesperson indicated that is not usually the case--less than 1% of errors historically fall on TWC, he claimed. 

However, if someone is determined to have an over-payment, TWC said it will mail them a Determination on Payment of Unemployment Benefits letter explaining the reason for his or her over-payment, what weeks were overpaid and the amount of money he or she must repay.

TWC said that within 30 days of the date it determines someone had an over-payment, the organization mails a Statement of Overpaid Unemployment Benefit Account – i.e. a billing statement – with instructions on how to repay the over-payment. TWC added that approximately 30 days later, it will mail a second billing statement with a repayment schedule, unless the case is being prosecuted.

TWC told KVUE that over-payment notices may be paid back with a payment plan due to COVID-19, and repayment is not necessary in order to continue to receive future unemployment benefits.

TWC said it is important to promptly repay an over-payment because:

  1. The over-payment stays on your claim record until you repay it in full.
  2. If you apply for benefits, TWC will apply each eligible payment toward reducing your over-payment until the over-payment is repaid.
  3. The Texas State Comptroller can recover your over-payment by withholding certain payments to you. That means the state cannot pay you lottery winnings, unclaimed property, unemployment benefits, or state job-related expenses, except for wages, until you repay the over-payment in full.
  4. Some state funding for college students cannot be released until you repay the over-payment in full.
  5. TWC can take legal action against you to recover the money.

According to the TWC, if the organization determines that the over-payment is unemployment fraud, he or she must repay the benefits they were not eligible for with an additional 15% penalty on the benefits he or she incorrectly received. For more information, see TWC's Unemployment Benefits Fraud page.  

PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: 

Austin 311 hit with thousands of fireworks, COVID-19 calls over 4th of July weekend

Nearly a decade after lawsuit, Texas Foster Care still putting children in danger; motion filed against state

Quadriplegic patient dies of COVID-19 after Austin hospital, guardian decide against life-saving treatment

Austin area sees deadliest week since beginning of COVID-19 pandemic

Austin mayor says future coronavirus 'numbers are scary if we don't change the trajectory'