how to handle unemployment overpayment when unjustly fired in first place

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how to handle unemployment overpayment when unjustly fired in first place

12/31/2017

I believe that my daughter was unjustly fired from her CNA job in 2011 because of what her employer said was ‘non-physical harassment of an employee, posting in social media made on Facebook’. She appealed it TWICE and WON the third time the decision was reversed for whatever reason and she was told to repay ALL of the unemployment she had received. She is an excellent employee and has continued to work as a CNA ever since but has not paid back this so-called overpayment. The amount of what started out to be around 2000.00-3000.00 has now ballooned to approximately 11,000.00?? To my understanding, she has a State of Kansas tax lien and they have been taking her Kansas State Tax Refunds since 2015. What would you advise to do to clear up this matter?
Sincerely,
Donna K. Dester

Asked on December 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter whether the firing was unjust or improper: that has no bearing on the fact that if she received unemployment when she should not have, it *must* be repayed. Your daughter had no right to keep the money when her termination was reversed so that she had effectively never been fired, and she should have repaid it at the time. 
Not having repaid it then, interest and/or fines mounted up, increasing the amount due; your daughter, unfortunately, compounded her problems by need dealin with this earlier. There are really only three ways to deal with it:
1) Repay it;
2) If she can come up with the money to pay a large part (say, 50 - 70%) of the amount at once, she may be able to negotiate with the government to take that partial payment as payment in full and foregive the rest (if she can do this, she has to get the agreement in writing);
3) Or file for bankruptcy if she truly cannot pay the amount due.


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