How to successfully appeal an unemployment insurance overpayment?

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How to successfully appeal an unemployment insurance overpayment?

I just received a notice from my state’s Department of Labor stating that I was ineligible for unemployment that I received last year and that I need to repay them basically in full. I am extremely upset and very worried as I don’t understand this; the reasoning is that I “abandoned” a job last year which is absolutely untrue. I notified the employer via mail. The commute alone would have cost me over half of my annual income, so I had to resign. What rational person could stay in an employment situation like that?

Asked on June 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, based on what you wrote, you did abandon or voluntarily separate from employment--you made the choice to stop working there, admittedly for good reasons. Unfortunately, the law does not look to whether you had good reasons or not; even if you left employment because it wasn't economically worthwhile to keep working, or you needed to stay home for a minor child who needed supervision, or the job was ruining your life (in other words, for what anyone would reasonable or rationally consider a good reason), that is still  voluntary separation from employment and renders you ineligible for unemployment compensation. Therefore, it appears you were not eligible for the unemployment compensation and have to repay it.


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