Overpayment of Benefits
Benefits you received to which you were not entitled are known as overpayments. Depending on the situation, these overpayments are divided into two groups: those which are your fault and those which are not.
If you believe that a benefit payment was issued to you improperly or in the wrong amount, contact the UC office immediately.
- Fault Overpayment
- Penalty Weeks
- Non-Fault Recoupable Overpayment
- Non-Fault Non-Recoupable Overpayment
- Making Payments on an Overpayment
- Dishonored Check Penalty
A "fault overpayment" will result when you receive benefits to which you are not entitled by reason of your fault, such as withholding or misrepresenting material facts to obtain UC. You must repay a fault overpayment.
In addition, you will be required to pay interest on any fault overpayment principal not paid within 15 days after the Notice of Overpayment determination is issued. Interest will continue to be assessed against the unpaid balance. A lien may be filed against you to recover the overpayment amount, the interest assessed and any fees and penalties. Recovery of the fault overpayment may also be deducted from future benefits during the benefit year when the overpayment was paid and the six-year period immediately following the end of that benefit year.
The Pennsylvania UC Law also provides for prosecution and penalties for anyone who knowingly makes a false statement or who knowingly withholds information to obtain or increase benefits. If convicted you could be fined up to $1,000 or be imprisoned for up to 30 days or both for each false statement or failure to disclose a material fact. You would also be required to pay restitution for the amount of benefits you improperly received and would be ineligible to receive benefits for one year following the date of conviction.
A penalty week may be assessed when a claimant makes a false statement knowing it to be false, or knowingly fails to disclose material facts, in order to obtain or increase benefits. While serving a penalty week, no monies are paid to the claimant. Penalty weeks are served during any week for which the claimant would otherwise be eligible for compensation during the four-year period following the end of the benefit year in which the improper payments were paid.
In order to serve a penalty week, the claimant must file a claim for the week and be eligible for partial or full benefits. 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.
Non-Fault Recoupable Overpayment
A "non-fault recoupable overpayment" results when it is determined that the overpayment was through no fault of your own. A non-fault overpayment will be deducted from any future benefit payments during the benefit year when the benefit was paid and the three-year period immediately following that benefit year. The deductions may not exceed one-third of the weekly benefit rate. However, if the total overpayment is $99 or less, it will be deducted in full. Voluntary repayment is also accepted.
Non-Fault Non-Recoupable Overpayment
A "non-fault non-recoupable overpayment" results when the overpayment is not due to misrepresentation or non-disclosure of a material fact and is caused by reason of:
- 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 deducted to collect a non-fault non-recoupable overpayment. However, voluntary repayment is accepted.
Making Payments on an Overpayment
The department migrated to a new unemployment system on June 8, 2021. Currently, the online payment functionality is not active. Until that changes, please mail your payment to the following address:
Office of UC Benefits
UI Payment Services
PO Box 67503
Harrisburg, PA 17106-7503
- When making a payment by mail, please send a cashier’s check, certified check, or money order. 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.
- When you have repaid your overpayment, you may receive a billing statement reflecting that your balance is zero. If you should need a receipt or proof of payment, your canceled check or money order stub will serve as your receipt.
All other correspondence should be sent to:
Office of Unemployment Compensation Benefits
Room 501 Labor and Industry Building
651 Boas Street
Harrisburg PA 17121
Dishonored Check Penalty
If you pay the department with a personal check which 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 information provided on this site does not constitute a determination of eligibility to receive unemployment compensation.