How to File a Waiver for Overpayment in Unemployment

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While receiving a higher unemployment benefit payment than you expected can seem wonderful when it arrives, if the amount is too much your state can expect you to repay the overage. Common reasons for overpayments, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment include a decision reversal by a labor department officer, a change in your benefit amount and inaccurate reporting of weekly earnings. You can request a waiver from your state if repaying the overage will cause a financial hardship if the overage is not the result of fraud.

  • Contact your state's unemployment department. The name of the labor department varies for each state, but it provides a full listing of the state employment offices (see Resources).

  • Request an unemployment overpayment waiver. Typically, the waiver is not the same as the form you fill out to disagree with the overage. Disagreeing with an overage requires that you file an appeal with the department contesting the decision.

  • Fill out the form completely. The more information you are able to provide, the better your chances of a waiver.

  • Make a copy of the form for your records and mail it to the address stated on the form. Typically, applicants for a wavier have 15 days to file. If you do not file before the deadline in your state, the department can deny your application. States such as Massachusetts allow individuals to file waiver forms after the deadline, but whether or not you can is up to your state.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can request an appeal of a waiver denial in most states. Your state department can give you information if you need to file an appeal.
  • Read any notices carefully and follow the instructions from your state. Failing to respond to notices can cause you to lose your benefits while waiting for a decision on your waiver request.
  • If the department finds you guilty of fraud, it can assess an interest charge on the amount due.
  • The department can give your overage to a collection agency if you do not pay what you owe or receive a waiver.

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