At first glance, describing owing a debt in any way “good” seems erroneous, but most debts cannot be appealed. For the Texas Workforce Commission or TWC, overpayment decisions that state that a claimant for unemployment benefits has been overpaid and now owe that money back are not out of the ordinary. Typically, overpayment notices occur when a claimant has lost their appeal to qualify for unemployment benefits or the initial claim is found to be invalid. In TWC land, practically everything is appealable and the same is true for overpayment notices. And that is what creates the good news. If you have received an overpayment notice saying your unemployment benefits were overpaid, you have that same 14-day window to submit your appeal either for the overpayment itself or for the issue that resulted in an overpayment.
To appeal the overpayment determination for federal extended unemployment compensation, the TWC looks at whether the payment was made non-fraudulently, the overpayment was not the fault of the claimant, and that forcing a claimant to repay the amount would go against equity and good conscience. Within those categories the TWC considers things like whether a claimant received benefits even though they knew they were not eligible, whether the overpayment was a result of a decision on appeal, or whether financial hardship will befall the claimant if they are forced to pay it back.
The bad news is that if you lose the appeal or do not appeal within the allotted time, then you will owe money to the TWC. This could cause you to likely pay back most, if not all, the benefits that were paid out to you as unemployment. As a preliminary matter, if you have the ability to do so, there is the option to simply pay back the amount. That path is not available to a lot of claimants, which puts the situation into the bad news column. But wait, there’s good news in that, too! Thankfully, the TWC allows claimants who were overpaid to setup payment plans in certain situations, so there could be an option to not pay it back all at once. On the whole, owing money to the TWC seems like it is all bad news, but the ability to appeal the determination brings some positives to the situation. However, unemployment benefit overpayment notices can be tricky, so speak to a Dallas Employment Lawyer to see what your options are to appeal an overpayment or unemployment benefits determination.