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Old 08-05-2013, 12:40 PM
 
13 posts, read 13,304 times
Reputation: 18

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While laid off, I worked a part-time job, but still collected unemployment at a reduced amount. For a period of eight weeks, I mistakenly reported my NET pay instead of my GROSS pay, which is a difference of about $70 dollars a week. During those 8 weeks, my unemployment payment from the state rose from the usual $197/week to $260/week.

So during the time of those 8 weeks, I received $2072 from the state, instead of the $1576 that I was actually entitled to for that time period.

When I realized my error I visited the unemployment office to report it. They couldn't do anything at that location, so they asked me to fax my payroll stubs period to another state office, which I did.

I received a Notice of Overpayment and Recoupment Decision in the mail - the state is asking me to re-pay $1800! They claim they overpaid me by about $225 a week during those 8 weeks, which makes no sense to me. I cannot get a hold of the person who did the math, and have only spoken with useless phone people who say they "can't do anything to help you, sorry, that's what they found."

I plan to appeal but I don't know what else to say besides "Can you check your math and tell me how I owe $300 a week when I only claimed $70 extra per week?" The phone people only say that I'm not being penalized for my mistake, it's not fraud. I think I should ONLY owe about $500, which is the difference between $2072 and $1576.

Please, any advice is welcome. Is it worth is getting an attorney?

Last edited by max_sterling; 08-05-2013 at 12:59 PM..
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,380 posts, read 19,160,414 times
Reputation: 6878
Your state?

The statement
Quote:
During those 8 weeks, my unemployment payment from the state rose from the usual $197/week to $260/week.
is confusing. If your weekly benefit rate is $197, and you earned $70 you neglected to report, you did NOT have an unemployment payment of $260 (shouldn't it be $257 - ($197+60). Your total income for that week was $260 ($257), not your unemployment benefit.

Your unemployment benefit is a separate category.

So, what is your ACTUAL weekly benefit rate?

Also, some states will deny you benefits for every week in which you fail to accurately report your income, which would explain the $1800.

That's why we need to know your state.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 08-05-2013 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:42 PM
 
13 posts, read 13,304 times
Reputation: 18
I'm in Illinois.

During those 8 weeks, instead of reporting my GROSS pay of $385 to unemployment, I reported my NET pay of $315.

And until I made this mistake, I was getting $394 from the state every 2 weeks (which breaks down to $197 a week).
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,380 posts, read 19,160,414 times
Reputation: 6878
One more question? Were you earning $385/week? If so, you weren't entitled to any benefit from Illinois.

This is their partial benefit formula - see pg. 20:

Quote:
Partial benefits equal the difference
between that part of your earnings
that exceed 50 percent of your
weekly benefit amount and your
weekly benefit amount for total
unemployment. If the partial
benefit amount does not come to an
even dollar, it is raised to the next
higher dollar, provided it does not
exceed your weekly benefit amount.

http://www.ides.illinois.gov/Custom/...tsHandbook.pdf
Calculated as follows (from the handbook):

If your weekly benefit amount
(not including dependency
allowance) is ............................$197.00
50% of that amount is ................$98.50
If your earnings are ...................$385.00
The amount that exceeds 50%
of your weekly benefit amount
is .............................................$286. 50
The difference between your
weekly benefit amount ...............$197.00
And the amount of your
earnings that exceeds 50% of
your weekly benefit amount ...... ..$285.50
Gives you a partial benefit
amount of........................... ....-$88.50
(this is a negative number)

All the benefits paid to you for those eight weeks are an overpayment.

You owe Illinois at least $1,576. Not sure where the other $224 is coming from.

If the numbers you are reporting - weekly earnings of $385 and weekly benefit of $197 are correct - Illinois shouldn't have sent you any money - even if you were reporting $315/weekly instead of $385.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 08-05-2013 at 02:24 PM..
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:34 PM
 
51 posts, read 34,619 times
Reputation: 36
You can only earn a certain percentage of your claim. If you go over that you don't qualify for unemployment. It's important to find out this number if you take a part time job. Maybe $70 was within this percentage, but just $71 may have put you over, hence you lose all your benefits.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:49 PM
 
13 posts, read 13,304 times
Reputation: 18
Well I'll be damned. When I checked with unemployment, they said I could work part time as long as I was under a certain number of hours a week (and a certain amount of pay, of course). This is how they reward people who are trying to not be a welfare leech? Next time I'm unemployed I'm gonna sit on my ass and watch Oprah reruns for 6 months.

Thanks everyone for your input.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,380 posts, read 19,160,414 times
Reputation: 6878
Download and read the Illinois Unemployment Handbook. Most states clearly explain in their handbooks their partial benefit formulas.

Actually, Illinois' formula is more generous than many.

In CA, you are allowed to keep only 25% of what you earn. The other 75% is deducted from your benefit.

In NJ, your Partial Benefit Rate is 20% higher than your WBA, and anything you earn is deducted from the higher PBR.

In NY, if you work only an hour or less in a day, you lose 25% of your weekly benefit.

You wouldn't have been paid anything in any of those states, either.

Sorry the news isn't better. Although, at least you're earning twice your WBA, so that's a small consolation.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:06 PM
 
13 posts, read 13,304 times
Reputation: 18
I know, I should be grateful I got any help from the state. Just venting.
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