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 Benefit Payment Control Unit (BPCU)
Overpayment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. I received a letter from the Benefit Payment Control Unit stating I owe money to the Department of Labor.  Why?

    You were paid benefits that you were not entitled to, usually as a result of:
     
    1. Fraud, Wilful Nondisclosure or Wilful Misrepresentation of unemployment insurance information: The vast majority of these  overpayments occur as a result of a claimant intentionally failing to properly report earnings to the Labor Department in a week in which they file for unemployment benefits.

      All overpayments in this category established prior to October 1, 2013 are accompanied by administrative penalties, which are essentially forfeited weeks, where you file your weekly claim, but receive no money.

      All overpayment in this category established on or after October 1, 2013 are accompanied by a monetary penalty. This means that for your first fraudulent overpayment you will have to pay a penalty in the amount equal to 50% (1/2) of the overpayment amount and for any additional fraudulent overpayments you will have to pay a penalty equal to the amount of the overpayment (100% of the overpayment).

      Remember, you must report all GROSS earnings, to the Labor Department the week in which you earn them,(i.e. the week in which the work was performed), not necessarily when you get paid.  This includes earnings upon hire of a new job.

      OR
       
    2. Reversal or Non-Fraud Error: If, after having been found eligible for benefits, the Employment Security Appeals Division reverses the original decision to pay benefits, you will be liable to repay benefits that were overpaid.  Other overpayments in this category occur as the result of an unintentional error on the part of the claimant, employer or the Administrator (Department of Labor).

      All overpayments in this category are accompanied by the right to apply for a waiver of the monies owed to the Department of Labor.
  1. In addition to the overpayment amount, the letter states I also owe administrative penalty weeks.  What are penalty weeks?

    Penalty weeks are assessed on all fraudulent overpayments established prior to October 1, 2013 depending on the amount owed (See table). They are essentially forfeited weeks, where you file your weekly claim, but receive no money.  Penalty weeks can only be satisfied through weekly claims filing, and have no expiration date. Please note, prior to June 2006 penalty weeks were assessed at a rate of 1 week per $100 overpaid.
     

  2. In addition to the overpayment amount, the letter states I also owe a monetary penalty. What is a monetary penalty?

    A monetary penalty is assessed to all fraudulent overpayments established on or after October 1, 2013 and is in addition to the actual amount of the overpayment. For your first fraudulent overpayment you will have to pay a penalty in the amount equal to 50% (1/2) of the overpayment amount and   for any additional fraudulent overpayments you will have to pay a penalty equal to the amount of the overpayment (100% of the overpayment). These payments do not reduce the balance of the original overpayment.
     

  3. How are waivers determined?

    Waivers are only applicable on non-fraud overpayments. Multiple factors are assessed by the Administrator (Department of Labor) in determining qualifications for a waiver including family income, health conditions, bankruptcy and the availability of Social Service benefits.
     

  4. How are overpayments recouped by the Labor Department?

    Overpayments are paid back by state and federal tax refund intercepts, wage garnishments, offsets (using current UI benefits), payments and interstate recovery. When you are filing for unemployment insurance, your weekly benefit amount will be reduced until your overpayment is recouped. Non-fraudulent overpayments are taken at a rate of 50% of your weekly benefit amount.  Fraudulent overpayments are taken back at 100% of your weekly benefit amount.

    Please keep in mind offsets are used to pay back the overpayment, while administrative penalty and monetary penalties are in addition to the amount overpaid.

  5. How long do overpayments and penalties stay active?

    Overpayments and penalties stay on file until they are paid in full.  For example, you may have had an overpayment 15 years ago, and have not filed for benefits since. If you still have a balance and need to file for unemployment now, your current benefits will be reduced until your overpayment is paid.
     

  6. I still have an overpayment balance, why have administrative penalty weeks begun to be taken?

    At the point where your overpayment balance goes below your weekly benefit amount, penalty weeks will begin. Once the penalty weeks are completed, regular overpayment offsets will resume.
     

  7. I'm filing for benefits weekly. Why arenít offsets being taken for my overpayment?

    If you have an outstanding monetary penalty, all weekly benefits filed for will remain on hold until the monetary penalty is paid off. After the monetary penalty is paid off, the held weeks will be applied to any outstanding offsets, overpayment, or will be paid out.
     

  8. In addition to the overpayment amount and penalties, why am I also being charged interest?

    If you do not repay your overpayment, interest at a rate of 1% of the current balance will be charged each month.
     

  9. If I disagree with the overpayment determination, how do I protest it?

    Initially, you will receive a pre-determination letter explaining the overpayment.  On the back of the letter you will find information about requesting a hearing to protest the overpayment and/or penalties.  You must return your request within 14 days of the mailing date of the letter.
     

  10. Once the overpayment decision becomes final, can I appeal it?

    Yes. Once the overpayment becomes final, a letter will be sent to you.  This letter will explain your appeal rights. If you wish to appeal the final decision, you have 21 days of the mailing date of the letter to do so.  If your appeal is filed past the 21 days, it will be considered late, and the Appeals Division is under no obligation to hear it.

     

  11. I have been informed by my employer that my wages will be garnished by the Labor Department, why is this happening?

    If found in non-compliance of Section 31-273 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and Section 31-273-7 of the Conn. Agency Regulations, the Labor Department, in conjunction with the State Judicial Branch, is authorized to perform a wage garnishment against current earnings.  This money will be applied toward the overpayment balance and any accumulated interest.  In addition, court filing fees and a 15% State Marshal fee will also be deducted from your paycheck. 

     

  12. Why was my income tax refund intercepted by the Department of Labor?

    Section 31-273-7 of the Conn. Agency regulations allows the Department of Labor to intercept a State income tax refund for purposes of repayment of overpaid unemployment compensation benefits. This includes the repayment of any interest payments owed which is intercepted first, followed by principle.

    In addition, the Department of Labor participates in the Treasury Offset Program (TOP), which allows for intercepting Federal income tax refunds for repayment of overpaid unemployment compensation benefits.
     


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