OVERPAYMENT & RECOVERY
An overpayment occurs when unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are paid to a claimant who is later determined to have been ineligible or not entitled to those benefits. Claimants who received benefits they were not entitled to receive are responsible for paying the money back to Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), regardless of why the payment occurred.
Information on federal pandemic overpayments can be found at the bottom of this page.
HOW OVERPAYMENTS OCCUR
Some of the common causes of overpayments include:
- An IWD decision that reverses a previous allowance of UI benefits to a claimant.
- Claimant and/or employer fails to disclose that the claimant received wages, holiday, vacation pay, severance pay or other deductible pay after a job separation.
- Claimant fails to accurately report earnings and hours worked while filing for UI benefits.
- Claimant’s weekly and/or maximum UI benefit amount changes (a monetary redetermination is made) because the wage information was incorrect when the claim was initially filed.
- Claimant is disqualified from receiving UI benefits due to being responsible for their job separation.
- Claimant fails to notify IWD that he or she does not meet the eligibility requirements.
OVERPAYMENT DECISION LETTER
If an overpayment is assessed, you will receive a single overpayment letter that includes the dollar amount you owe and the time frame that the overpayment covers. This single letter also will specify the eligibility rules for each UI program where an overpayment has been assessed. Please note that if an overpayment amount changes because of an appeal or additional information received, another letter with a revised amount will be sent. If you have questions regarding the dollar amount or the weeks that are owed, please contact IWD customer service at 1-866-239-0843.
According to the Iowa Code, deliberate misrepresentation to receive a benefit that a claimant knew they were not entitled to is “fraudulent practice.” In certain cases, where deliberate misrepresentation has occurred, the case may be turned over to the County Attorney’s office where the claimant resides. The County Attorney then will decide on a case-by-case basis whether felony charges will be filed. Overpayments caused by deliberate misrepresentation (Fraud) include a 15 percent penalty.
The claimant will receive monthly billing notices and other collection letters regarding the amount owed. Should the claimant become eligible for future UI benefits, 100 percent of each weekly benefit payment may be applied to the non-fraud overpayment balance until it is paid in full. Individuals with a fraud overpayment balance due must pay the full balance including penalty, interest, and lien fees to be eligible for future benefits.
Collection activities may include, but are not limited to:
- State and/or Federal income tax refund interception.
- The Department of Revenue will match social security numbers with individuals who have an overpayment debt payable to IWD. If a claimant and the claimant's spouse file taxes jointly, their refund may be intercepted to pay the overpayment debt.
- Interception of lottery winnings.
- Vendor payment intercepts.
- Wage garnishment actions.
- UI benefit payment offsets.
- Voluntary repayment plans.
Credit/Debit Card/E-Checks payments may be made online.
Please follow all the directions and complete every blank and section. One of the following internet browsers must be used for the online payment to process: Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Internet Explorer (IE) will not work.
IWD will accept payments via check, money order or cashier's check payable to Iowa Workforce Development, remit payment to following address:
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
If you are unable to pay the balance due in full, IWD will work with you, the claimant, to set up a payment plan. For further information, please contact us at 1-800-914-6808. Remember to include your full name, address, and last four digits of your Social Security Number on all correspondence.
FEDERAL PANDEMIC OVERPAYMENTS
Per Sections 2104 (F) (2) and 2107 (E) (2) of the CARES Act, you may request an overpayment waiver if you received Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and were later deemed ineligible. The request should be sent to:
Iowa Workforce Development
Overpayment waiver request
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
For fastest service please, submit the online waiver form at this link (En Español). More information can be found on the waiver information page linked above. However, you may also submit the request via mail in writing. Any request must include the following:
- Claimant name & address.
- Decision number/date of decision.
- Dollar amount of overpayment requested for waiver.
- Relevant facts that you feel would justify a waiver.