Can I Pay Back an Overpayment in Pennsylvania Unemployment Claims?

Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry handles all the state’s unemployment claims. If there is an overpayment in your unemployment check, the agency will mail you a “Notice of Overpayment” to notify you of the error. This letter advises you of your responsibility to pay back the overpayment. The burden of responsibility varies, depending upon the type of overpayment you receive.

Paying Back Overpayments

When you receive an overpayment, the state always allows and encourages you to voluntarily pay it back. If you don't volunteer to pay back the overpayment, the government may take legal action, such as a judgment, lien or wage garnishment to recover the overpayment, along with fines and interest. The exact amount of money you are required to pay back for an overpayment all depends upon the type of overpayment you received.

Fault Overpayment

A “Fault Overpayment” is an overpayment resulting from false or misleading information you provide on a claim. You are at fault for providing the erroneous information and must pay back the overpayment. If you do not repay the overpayment within 15 days of notification, interest is added to the overpayment. You may also be required to pay a fine, up to $1000, for providing false information on your claim.

Non-Fault Overpayment

A “Non-Fault Recoupable Overpayment” is an overpayment caused by agency error. You are not at fault, but you must repay the overpayment. Deductions are made from your future benefit checks to satisfy the overpayment debt. If the overpayment is $99 or less, the full amount of the overpayment is deducted from one check. You can also volunteer to pay back the debt sooner. If the overpayment is more than $99, check deductions are made during the benefit year you receive overpayment. The check deductions cannot exceed 33 percent of your weekly unemployment check amount. The deductions may extend over a three-year period, following the year of overpayment.

Non-Fault Non-Recoupable Overpayment

A “Non-Fault Non-Recoupable Overpayment” refers to an overpayment caused by an agency error, including a reversal of eligibility, a miscalculation of your base-year wages; or by unexpected holiday, vacation or other pay from your former employer. This kind of overpayment is not your fault and you do not need to repay it. No deductions are made from future benefit checks. You can volunteer to pay back this type of overpayment, however.

Submitting Voluntary Repayments

Mail voluntary repayments to Office of Unemployment Compensation Benefits, UI Payment Services, P.O. Box 67503, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17106-9894. Checks and money orders are the only acceptable payment methods. Make the check payable to "PA UC Fund." Include your full legal name and social security number on the check to ensure you receive credit for your payment. Once your debt is satisfied, you will receive a billing invoice reflecting a zero balance.