The Texas Workforce Commission is clarifying who does and who doesn’t have to pay back nearly $32 million in overpaid unemployment benefits.
According to the TWC, if someone received overpaid benefits due to a mistake by the agency, then the benefits do not need to be paid back. But mistakes of this type, the TWC says, are very rare and the vast majority of the more than 46,000 people who received too much money will have to pay it back.
“So the majority of people, if there was an error, whether on their end or their employers, they are still going to have to pay those wages back,” said TWC spokesperson Cisco Gamez.
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Gamez says a Department of Labor audit in 2019 found that less than 1 out of 100 mistakes leading to over-payment were the fault of the TWC.
But many of those who are now on the hook for hundreds of dollars feel the mistake is ultimately the TWC’s and they should not have to pay the money back.
“If they had done research, I would never have been in this predicament, to the point that I have to prove I’m innocent and they are the guilty party,” said Edward Charles.
Charles is now responsible for repaying nearly $500 and hopes that his appeal will be successful and the TWC will acknowledge, in his opinion, that the mistake was theirs.
“If they go back and look, it’s clear to see it was a mistake on their behalf,” said Charles.
The TWC says people who have received over-payments will continue to receive their normal benefits and that collection efforts, which normally start after 60-days of non-payment, have been put on hold.