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Unemployment Claims Fraud form to report individuals collecting Pennsylvania UC benefits illegally. This may include persons who are working and not reporting their wages while receiving UC benefits; or persons who cannot work due to an illness, disability or incarceration and are receiving UC benefits.
When an individual receives unemployment compensation benefits to which he/she is not entitled, it is known as an overpayment. Depending on the situation, these overpayments are divided into two groups: those which are your fault and those which are not your fault.
If you have been overpaid, you will receive the overpayment determination by mail, sent to the most recent address you provided. It is your responsibility, as the claimant, to notify the unemployment compensation service center if there has been a change to your address, regardless of whether you are still filing for benefits.
Under Section 501(e) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law, a determination becomes final unless an
appeal is filed timely. If you disagree with a determination you must file an appeal within 15 days of the mailing date of the determination for the appeal to be considered timely.
You may be eligible for PUA benefits if you remained totally or partially unemployed due to COVID-19 reasons and you are ineligible for UC benefits. The US Department of Labor informed Pennsylvania that individuals serving penalty weeks on UC, PEUC, or EB cannot be eligible for PUA payments for the same weeks. If you are in this situation and you opened a PUA claim in anticipation of the PUA benefits being available, simply stop filing weekly PUA claims to prevent your PUA overpayment from becoming larger. If you are otherwise unemployed, you should continue filing for your regular UC (or PEUC or EB) benefits in order to serve the penalty weeks.
A "fault UC overpayment" will result when you receive state UC benefits to which you are not entitled by reason of your fault, such as withholding or misrepresenting information relating to your eligibility for UC benefits. You must repay a fault overpayment. You will be required to pay interest on any fault overpayment principal not repaid within 15 days after the Notice of Overpayment determination is issued. Interest will continue to be assessed against the unpaid balance. Additionally, if you file claims for UC in the future, those benefits may be intercepted to offset your existing overpayment. A lien may be filed against you to recover the overpayment amount, the accrued interest and any fees and penalties.
A fault overpayment will rise to the level of fraud if you knowingly fail to disclose or knowingly provide false information in order to obtain or increase benefits. An overpayment involving fraud will also be assessed a 15 percent penalty based on the principal dollar amount of the overpayment. In addition to liability for interest and the 15 percent penalty, you may be assessed penalty weeks or face prosecution for a fraud overpayment.
A claimant is assessed "penalty weeks" when he/she knowingly makes a false statement, or fails to provide material information, to obtain federal or state UC benefits. When a claimant serves a penalty week, he/she will be ineligible for benefits for that week (i.e., no monies are paid to the claimant), even though he/she otherwise is eligible for them.
In order to serve a penalty week, the claimant must file a claim for the week and be eligible for partial or full benefits.
NOTE: Serving a penalty week is not the same as the department withholding benefits to recoup an overpayment. A claimant's overpayment is not reduced when he/she serves a penalty week. Serving a penalty week and recouping an overpayment cannot be done in the same week.
A "non-fault recoupable overpayment" is an overpayment that occurred through no fault of your own. A non-fault overpayment may be deducted from any future benefit payments. However, the deductions may not exceed one-third of the weekly benefit rate. If the total overpayment is $99 or less, it will be deducted in full. Voluntary repayment is encouraged and accepted.
A "non-fault non-recoupable overpayment" is a non-fault overpayment that is caused by:
- a subsequent reversal of two decisions of eligibility;
- the subsequent receipt of holiday, vacation or other pay of which you had no knowledge; or
- a subsequent determination that your base-year wages were not earned in employment as defined by the Pennsylvania UC Law.
Future benefit payments will not be reduced to collect a non-fault non-recoupable overpayment. However, voluntary repayment is encouraged and accepted.
When making a payment on your overpayment, please send a check or money order to the address below. Please do not send cash. The department is not responsible for cash that is not received. Checks or money orders should be made payable to: PA UC FUND. Your full name and Social Security number should be entered on the check or money order to ensure it is able to be processed.
All payments should be sent to:
Office of Unemployment Compensation Benefits
UI Payment Services
PO Box 67503
Harrisburg PA 17106-7503
If you pay the department with a check that is not honored by your bank, you will be charged with a dishonored check penalty. The penalty charge is $10 for dishonored checks less than or equal to $10, the face value of the check for checks greater than $10 but less than $100, or $100 for checks of $100 or more.
The department may file statutory liens against claimants who have outstanding fault overpayments. The lien attaches to the claimant's real and personal property. The overpayment must be paid in full, as well as any lien fees the department incurred, before the lien will be removed.
Federal and state law allow the department to intercept your federal income tax refund to recover an outstanding fraud overpayment.
The department participates in the federal Treasury Offset Program, or TOP. This program allows Pennsylvania to intercept the federal income tax refunds of individuals who have fault overpayments that rise to the level of fraud. If you have a fraud overpayment, some or all of your federal income tax refund may be intercepted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and sent to the department to be applied to your UC overpayment.