UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: FEDERAL OVERPAYMENT RECOVERY
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress in 2020 to implement a variety of pandemic-related unemployment programs. The below information is for claimants who were deemed to have been overpaid under these programs.
FEDERAL CARES ACT BENEFITS INCLUDE:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Benefits paid to self-employed, contract workers or those that are unable to work as a direct result of COVID-19.
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
- The additional weekly payment of either $300 or $600, depending on what weeks the overpayment covers.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Federal extended benefits paid after exhausting regular unemployment benefits.
- Lost Wage Assistance Program (LWAP)
- The additional weekly benefit of $300.00 to Iowans who continue to be unemployed due to the pandemic.
FEDERAL CARES ACT OVERPAYMENTS
The possible causes for overpayment under one of the federal programs include:
- An IWD decision that reversed previously allowed Federal CARES Act unemployment benefits.
- Failure by the claimant and/or employer to accurately report earnings, hours, holiday, pay, vacation pay, or severance pay while filing for CARES Act benefits.
- Claimant failure to accurately report earnings and hours worked while filing for CARES Act Benefits.
- The claimant is disqualified from receiving CARES Act benefits due to separation from a part-time job while still working a full-time job.
- Claimant was not off of work due to COVID-19.
FRAUDULENT CARES ACT OVERPAYMENT
If a claimant deliberately misrepresents information to receive a CARES ACT benefit that he or she knew they were not entitled to, this meets the definition of “Fraudulent Practice.” In certain cases, where deliberate misrepresentation has occurred, the case may be turned over to the County Attorney’s office in the county 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.
NON-FRAUD CARES ACT OVERPAYMENT
A non-fraud CARES Act Overpayment occurs if you receive benefits you were not eligible to receive but the Division of Employment Security finds that you are not at fault or you did not intentionally give false information or withhold information to receive CARES Act benefits.
CARES ACT OVERPAYMENT WAIVER
Per Sections 2104 (F) (2), 2107 (E) (2), and 201(d) of the CARES Act, if you were deemed to have been overpaid through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), you may request an overpayment waiver.
Fraudulent CARES Act overpayments do not qualify to request a waiver of overpayment benefits. Any individual with a debt from fraudulent overpayment of unemployment insurance will be disqualified from any and all unemployment insurance benefits until the balance is paid in full. Iowa Code 96.5.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A CARES ACT WAIVER REQUEST:
Following the submission of your application, you will receive a confirmation that the application was successfully received. Multiple waiver applications are not needed, as the waiver application will only allow one waiver application request per claimant. If a second entry is attempted, you will receive a message that your application has already been received. We appreciate your patience while we work all requests in the order that they were received.
- Overpayment statements will reflect the current balance due, including any overpayment that is under review for waiver. If the overpayment is waived, please allow a few statements before the waived overpayment is reflected on your statement.
- The decision regarding your waiver will be mailed to you via USPS.