Is it acceptable for a state to determine that you were overpaid on unemployment benefits 9 months after the initial decision?

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Is it acceptable for a state to determine that you were overpaid on unemployment benefits 9 months after the initial decision?

In 04/10 I was fired from a job. I originally was granted unemployment benefits, however the employer appealed and the judge ruled in their favor. In the judge’s decision it stated that they would remand the decision whether or not I should pay the overpayment back to the Unemployment Division. That was the last I heard of anything in regards to that case. This year I was laid off by another employer, and in turn I filed for unemployment on 01/04/11. After trying to get an answer from them, I finally received a document in the mail that stated that I needed to pay back the unemployment benefits that I received last year. This decision was made on 01/22/2011, almost 9 months later. In those 9 months I never once received any notification that I needed to pay it back. It was only after I had applied for benefits again that they made this decision. I have appealed this decision and have the hearing tomorrow. Do I have a good chance of winning?

Asked on February 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Forget about the fact that it was nine months ago; that is irrelevant to this issue. The state may ask for a return of overpaid benefits within a reasonable  time after it becoming aware of the overpayment, so it is almost certainly the case that they may ask for the return of the alleged overpayment. You can try raising this issue, but it's unlikely to make a difference.

In terms of whether you are likely to win, at the end of the day, that will turn on two facts: where in fact overpaid? And if you were overpaid, can the state prove that? If you were in fact overpaid and the state has evidence to support that fact, then you are likely to have to repay the funds.


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