Benefit Payment Control Unit (BPCU)
Unemployment Insurance Benefits Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
received a letter from the Benefit Payment Control Unit stating I owe money
to the Department of Labor. Why?
were paid benefits that you were not entitled to, usually as a result of:
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.
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
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.
- 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.
In addition to the overpayment amount, the letter states I also owe
administrative penalty weeks. What are penalty weeks?
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.
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
are waivers determined?
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.
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
are in addition to the amount overpaid.
do overpayments and penalties stay active?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Once the overpayment decision becomes final, can I appeal it?
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.
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
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.
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
Treasury Offset Program (TOP),
which allows for intercepting Federal income tax refunds for repayment
of overpaid unemployment compensation
200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000
State of Connecticut