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Error in Texas Workforce Commission Leads to $32 Million in Unemployment Overpayments

Texas: Too much money was given out to unemployed claimants in Texas, according to The Texas Workforce Commission. TWC reported that $32 million was given to people who are unemployed, was a mistake.

Cisco Gamez with TWC said overpayments are rare and $32 million is less than 1 percent of the amount of benefits handed out.

“TWC paid 16.9 billion in benefits using state and federal funds,” he said.

Gamez said there are different ways someone can be overpaid.

“An overpayment happens when individuals receive unemployment that they were not eligible to receive,” he explained.

Other errors like not reporting earnings or reporting incorrect earnings, correction of wage amounts and providing incorrect or false information about job separation can also lead to being overpaid.

Gamez said if claimants were overpaid, they will receive a letter that states “TWC is required by law to collect overpaid funds.”

Gamez explained that the U.S. Department of Labor requires unemployment payments be paid out at least 21 days after the claim is filed. He said the urgency of distributing benefits also lead to minor details being overseen by TWC.

If the claimant is to blame for the over payment, they will be responsible to pay the money back. Gamez said a payment plan can be worked for claimants out to pay back the state. If TWC, is at fault for the overpayment, the claimant will not have to pay back the money.

“Texas is prevented by court order by collecting overpayments caused solely by the commissions error,” he said. Gamez said that the Department of Labor audits the commission every year and determines who’s at fault.

He said the data from the 2020 audit won’t be ready until the end of the year.

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