An overpayment occurs when you receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits that for which you are not eligible. The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) classifies overpayments of UI benefits in two categories: non-fraudulent overpayments and fraudulent overpayments.
Non-fraudulent overpayments occur when you receive benefits to which you are not entitled, but receipt of those benefits is not because you knowingly providing false information or knowingly withheld information. Though unintentional, non-fraudulent overpayments must be repaid.
Fraudulent overpayments occur when you receive benefits to which you are not entitled because you knowingly provided false information or withheld information. Fraudulent overpayments are a serious offense that can result in criminal prosecution. Fraudulent overpayments must be repaid with a penalty fee of 25 percent and you are disqualified from receiving future benefits for between 10 and 52 weeks. To read more about preventing, reporting and the consequences of fraud, click here.
If you have been overpaid for UI benefits, you will receive a Notice of Overpayment of Benefits by mail to your address on record with DEW. The notice shows the amount you were overpaid, includes any penalty fees associated with the overpayment, explains why you were overpaid and gives you information about your right to appeal and/or apply for a Waiver of No Fault Overpayment.
Overpayments and Bankruptcy
Even when an overpayment debt has been discharged in bankruptcy, DEW has the right to recoup the overpayment through future UI benefits. Other methods of collection are not permitted for non-fraudulent overpayment, however, fraudulent overpayments may be declared non-dischargeable by the bankruptcy court and, therefore, a collectible debt following the conclusion of your bankruptcy case. In any event, administrative penalties associated with fraudulent overpayments are never discharged and can be collected following the lifting of the bankruptcy’s automatic stay.
For more information, contact the Overpayment Unit at 803-737-2490.