If you obtained Pennsylvania unemployment compensation benefits and received a letter from the PA UC Service Center stating that you were a recipient of a fraud or fault overpayment, you should seek the counsel of an attorney immediately. A “fault overpayment” is when a Claimant receives unemployment benefits and it is determined that benefits were obtained through withholding or misrepresenting material facts.
For example, if you quit your employment and you informed the unemployment office that you were laid off and received UC benefits, that would be considered a fault overpyament. However, there may be situations where the UC Service Center is claiming that you are a recipient of a fault overpayment when there was in fact no wrongdoing on your part. If you are alleged to have received an overpayment, you must appeal the decision within 15 days of the date that the notice was mailed. After you appeal, you will then have a unemployment compensation referee hearing to establish whether the overpayment should be considered fault or non-fault.
Fault overpayments are required to be paid back. If the amount of unemployment benefits you received is not paid back, a lien can be filed against you so the Department of Labor receives this money back. Interest also accrues on the amount of the overpayment and the Department of Labor can assess penalties and fees in addition to the amount of the overpayment.
The Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law also provides for prosecution and penalties for anyone who knowingly makes a false statement or who knowingly withholds information to obtain UC benefits. If you are convicted, you could be fined up to $1,000 and face jail time for up to 30 days for each false statement or failure to disclose a material fact.
If you are the recipient of a letter regarding PA UC benefits stating you received a fraud or fault overpayment, please call me at (484) 362-9286 for a free case evaluation.