Waivers relieve overpayment burden for claimants not at fault
WASHINGTON: During the height of the pandemic, records were broken as millions of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits. As demand soared, the U.S. Department of Labor provided instructions to states to administer payments under several programs authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. As guidance evolved, states paid benefits – in some cases – to individuals who were not entitled to receive them, although the individuals were not at fault.
Today, the department issued an Unemployment Insurance Program Letter to states to address overpayments under the CARES Act’s Unemployment Compensation Programs when the claimant is not at fault. The updated Unemployment Insurance Program Letter augments guidance the department issued on May 5, 2021.
In recognition of the enormity of the challenge the pandemic placed on claimants and State Workforce Agencies, the department’s Employment and Training Administration updated its waiver guidance to approve five new scenarios under which states may apply blanket waiver of recovery of overpayments:
When states waive recovery of overpayment, collection activities cease. Fraudulent overpayments remain exempt from waiver and must be repaid.
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