We are here to work with you.
TWC understands this is a difficult and trying time for many, and the last thing the agency wants to do is place undue burden on any of our fellow Texans. So while getting a notice of overpayment may not be a pleasant or welcomed experience, do not let this weigh on your mind.
TWC will not be clawing back money, we will work with people to get this resolved in a way that won’t stress someone’s budget or mental health.
What are Overpayments?
Overpayments occur when claimants receive unemployment benefits that they were not eligible to receive. TWC is required by law to collect overpaid funds.* The debt is never forgivable and will be owed to the state. However, if an overpayment was caused solely by a Commission error, the overpayment is not collectible. *Texas is prevented by court order from collecting overpayments caused solely by Commission error.
What caused the overpayment?
Most overpayments are due to honest errors made in the application process. Common errors include:
- claimants forgetting to report a few days of income they made working part-time,
- reporting an employment end date a day or two before the actual employment end date, or
- inputting an incorrect wage (i.e. a claimant’s actual hourly rate was $12.75/hr but they thought it was $13.00/hr).
There are a variety of understandable reasons why overpayments can and might happen. Click here for a more comprehensive list.
I got a letter; do I need to pay my overpayment back now?
We recognize that if someone is struggling to make ends meet, the last thing TWC should do is strong-arm them into paying money they desperately need. TWC understands that there is a big difference between people not wanting to pay back money versus not being able too.
Currently, there is no penalty for not paying back the amount immediately and TWC is taking the approach of asking claimants to pay what they can, when they can. Whether that is $50 a month or $50 a week, TWC is flexible in how and when overpayments are being made.
Right now, if a claimant can’t make any payments and they need to wait until they’re back on their feet, TWC is not going to refer them to a collection agency.
The agency is not going to claw money out of a claimant’s account, stop their benefits, or even reduce their benefits. Claimants can pay TWC back when they are comfortably able too, so think of an overpayment letter as TWC’s way of reaching out so that the agency can work with claimants on a solution. TWC will work with everybody that needs help and is willing to work with the agency on getting this resolved.
Will I be charged interest?
Only on cases of fraud are claimants charged interest.
How do I know if I committed fraud?
Simple, honest mistakes are not fraud.
If a claimant forgets to tell TWC that they worked for a few hours, or accidently reported their last day of work a day early that is not fraud.
A claimant commits fraud if they knowingly provide false or misleading information or withhold relevant information to obtain or increase benefits.
The most common types of fraud are when a claimant purposefully takes steps to get money they did not deserve or claimed that that they were somebody else. If someone commits fraud, the agency is much more aggressive in pursuit of money owed and there are penalties and interest. TWC will work with local district attorneys, law enforcement and federal law enforcement to recoup money.
Can I appeal overpayment?
Yes, claimants can appeal an overpayment or fraud charge within 14 days from the mail date listed on the Texas Workforce Commission decision.
If a claimant thinks there has been an error, TWC encourages them to appeal. On the overpayment letter will be instructions for how claimants can appeal and a date to appeal by.
If someone appeals by fax, they should keep their fax confirmation as proof of transmission. Do note, claimants must appeal each determination separately.