What is an unemployment overpayment?

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Unemployment benefit overpayments

Overpayments happen when the Department of Labor pays you more unemployment benefits than they should have. 

Most overpayments occur when someone filing for unemployment benefits doesn’t report money they earned that week. You must report gross earnings the week you earn them (the week in which the work was performed), not when you are paid. This includes earnings from a new job. If you did it by mistake, you’ll be asked to pay back the overpayment. If the DOL's Benefit Payment Control Unit decides you did it on purpose, they will ask you to pay back the overpayment plus a monetary penalty.

Sometimes overpayments occur because the DOL's Employment Security Appeals Division decides you shouldn’t have received all or some of the unemployment payments you received. If this happens to you, you’ll probably have to repay the money you received. 

Overpayments may also happen due to claimant, employer, or administrator errors. 

You can apply for an overpayment waiver for errors and other unintentional overpayments.