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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Waiver of Unemployment overpayment due to financial Hardship/ HELP!!!!

    New Jersey

    1) What can I expect from a Waiver of an Unemployment Overpayment due to financial hardship?
    2) How long can this process take?
    3) Is there anyway to expedite the process?
    4) Why is it such a secret to the public?

    Background for my Unemployment case:

    In 8/2008 I filled out the paperwork and qualified for Extended Benefits and I started receiving those benefits. The amount, if needed, was $10,700 that could run to the middle of 1/2009.

    I collected on that claim until it abruptly ended in 12/2008 at $9,100. I received a mailing requesting that I pay back the full amount.

    I immediately filed for an appeal. That appeal fell by the wayside because after all my efforts to get some information, there was no way I could get it.

    In 8/2011 I filed for, and was approved for, a new regular unemployment claim. However, I never received one penny from unemployment because all that money went to pay back the overpayment.

    I immediately called the Appeal Tribunal office and they advised me to file a new appeal, which I did.

    It took close to 5 months to finally have a phone hearing where all they wanted was the information I could not get them the first time. That appeal is now closed without prejudice and can be reopened within 180 days.

    Meanwhile I exhausted my entire new regular unemployment claim, with all of the money going to the overpayment. Actually, I still owe a little over $400.

    Please note that the person doing the phone hearing while sharing with her my current financial problems, she “strongly hinted” that I should call the Benefit Payment Control Dept. and that they may be able to help out.

    That same day I found out about a possible dismissal/waiver of the overpayment due to financial hardship.

    I called the Benefit Payment Control dept. and spoke to a supervisor. The supervisor told me that there was no such thing as a full waiver/dismissal due to financial hardship that the only waiver they have is to work out smaller monthly payments on the full amount owed. Liar, Liar.

    I called the Governors office and they immediately put me through to the LWD Commissioner’s Office. During my conversation with someone there I was asking a question about my appeal and mentioned a waiver. She said I was just going to ask you about that. I then told her what the supervisor at Benefit Payment Control told me and she just got quiet.

    Anyway they are mailing me the paperwork for the waiver.

    I just want to make sure I am on the right track.

    Thank you for answering the questions I have listed above!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Catatonic State
    duplicate post.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
    I don't see another post related to this one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Do not make the mistake of thinking you can circumvent Benefit Payment Control of the unemployment system by going through the department of labor's commissioner. Dept of labor is supervisory to the unemployment system, but believe me, they work together. And the detailed knowledge of the program is going to be with the BPC, not the person who answers the phone in the commissioner's office.

    Okay, you filed for and began receiving extended benefits in August of 08. Something happened, your claim was denied for some reason, your approval to draw was removed, and as you always would be, you were declared overpaid for the amount you had drawn. That "mailing" you received was a decision declaring you ineligible for benefits for some reason, and that you were overpaid by $9,100. Your appeal for this decison denying you benefits went away 15 days after you had notice of it. So yes, you did have an overpayment.

    You were not charged for this overpayment immediately, your wages were not garnished, you were not forced to pay it back. However, it did stay on the books. When you were approved for another claim, the money in that claim went to pay the overpayment, the money you already owed the system. No appeal of that. You had been overpaid in '08, which caused you to get the overpayment. Appealing the overpayment isn't going to do much good now, because you did get it, you got it due to a decision, and the time limit to appeal that decision passed long ago.

    They'll always let you file an appeal of the overpayment, but what do you have to base the appeal on other than you didn't want to have to pay it? Your benefits were denied, you had received the money....what are you appealing except that you had to pay it back? It wasn't due to agency error. It was due to your claim being denied after you'd already drawn quite a bit of it. Probably it was a 'non fraud overpayment' and as such, they didn't collect it aggressively. But did you owe it? Yes, according to unemployment law you did.

    Then you had a new claim in 2011, approved to draw benefits this time, and you filed for the weeks, and they were taken to pay back the overpayment. This was the way it usually works out. You have paid it all back except for $400.

    You were not told about the waiver of overpayment at that time. No, why would they have told you about it? If you had applied for the waiver while you were eligible and had benefits to draw, you would not have been allowed to be approved anyway. The waver states that given your current financial situation, you do not have any money to pay back the overpayment with. But you did. You had the unemployment benefits coming to you. It was altogether right that they got those benefits for the overpayment.

    Now you have filed a waiver request. If you are asking for the overpayment collection from your regular unemployment claim filed in 2011 to be given back to you, rest assured that will not happen.

    What may happen is that based on your current financial situation, you are able to get a waiver of the last $400. What the Benefit Payment Control person said was that they are not going to give you a full waiver. That's the absolute truth. They are able, in some states, to grant a waiver based on your income and current financial situation, which has to be really really low. As in, no unemployment insurance benefits coming in, no job, a below poverty level income level for the whole household. And they would in this case, maybe waive the $400 you still owe, that has not already been paid back.

    Not all states give waivers under any circumstances. Some states would have been after you the minute you got that overpayment on the original claim to pay the money back.

    Remember, unemployment benefits are not an income support program. The waiver of overpayment request is the only situation in which they will ever look into your family income and make that a consideration.

    If you had come on this site when you first got the decision that you were overpaid, I'd have told you to work with Benefit Payment Control and ask about the possibility of a waiver. It doesn't sound like you pursued it too vigorously until some time had passed and you were supposed to get unemployment benefits again, and then there it was, that overpayment, which meant you didn't get your weekly unemployment checks because it was taken.

    And that was partly because you obviously went back to work and were working somewhere. Which means if you had filed for a waiver in 2011 at the beginning of this claim, you wouldn't have qualified for it. Waivers are there so the department can make exceptions in very extreme cases. Not everyone who would like to have one will get one. Be sure you send in very detailed and carefully documented information about your financial situation. I recall some of the questions in our waiver form being "How much money do you have right at this time" and "Enclose copies of unpaid medical bills"

    Don't expect them to give you back money they have already recouped in an overpayment based on your drawing benefits this last year, so don't be expecting a payout or reimbursement of that unemployment you didn't get. You had an overpayment, they got it back. Remember, unemployment is not an income support program or a God given right. As to how long it will take for this waiver now to be decided, it really doesn't matter a lot, since you are not having to pay back the $400 right now anyhow.

    Last edited by commentator; 01-20-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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