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Texas Workforce Commission overpaying unemployed workers

The Texas Workforce Commission overpaid more than $32 million to unemployed workers since March, and is required by law to collect overpaid funds.
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 7:33 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Millions of dollars have gone towards unemployed workers due to the pandemic, but that has created an issue for a Texas agency.

The Texas Workforce Commission overpaid more than $32 million to unemployed workers since March, sending more than 46,000 notices to claimants they overpaid.

The commission held a media briefing on Tuesday to explain that they are simply reaching out and giving people a notice of overpayment.

This comes after articles say that TWC is “clawing back their money.” Texas Workforce is required by law to collect overpaid funds and says this is a rare occurring.

The overpayment makes up millions of dollars, but it only equals to 1% of all claims since March.

The commission says this was a cause of claimants incorrectly reporting their earnings.

Those who owe money back are still eligible for their unemployment benefits, but they have to pay back. Claimants who do not pay back may be denied their benefits.

The spokesperson for Texas Workforce says they are limited on the time they have to investigate and avoid making mistakes since cases in the past three months are higher than the past five years.

“In general, regulations require states to pay unemployment insurance at the earliest stage of unemployment,” said Cisco Gamez, media and public relations specialist. “The U.S. Department of Labor has determined that the earliest stage is approximately 21 days after the claim was filed.”

Repayment is not necessary if the overpayment is entirely TWC’s fault, meaning the claimants did not report any wrong information. TWC says they offer flexibility on payment plans and can work it out on a case by case basis.

For those who do not agree with the notice, Texas Workforce Commission says they have 14 days to appeal.

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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