Thursday, July 30, 2015

Overpayments Under Pennsylvania Unemployment Law - Fraud, Non-Fraud, At Fault, Non-At Fault

I have a Fraud or At Fault Overpayment Notice From the Pennsylvania Unemployment Department of Labor

There are 2 types of overpayments that one can be charged with under Pennsylvania Unemployment Law.  The first, and most troublesome, is denoted a "fraud" or "at fault overpayment.  We will discuss the most common scenario for such a finding in this Post.

It Will Investigate Why You Are No Longer Employed Every Time

What to Say When You Apply for Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits - Do Not Say You Lost Your Job Due to a Lay Off or Reduction in Force if You Were Terminated from Your Job

Generally, the most common way in which this comes about is when claimants for benefits and state that the reason they are no longer employed is because of  lay off or reduction in force when in fact he/she was terminated.

If You Were Fired, Say So -
No Matter What You Believe Was the "Real Reason" Your Employment Ended
It is very simple - when you apply for benefits because your employer ended the relationship,  you state on your application what the employer told you was the reason that you were being let go.  Unless you were one of a number of people being let go at the same time (i.e. part of a lay off or reduction in force) then you were likely terminated.

I know it hurts to say you were fired, but, it is what it is.

If You Say You Lost Your Job Due to Lay Off or Reduction in Force When in Fact You Were Fired, You Will Very Likely be Denied Benefits and Charged With a Fraud or At Fault Overpayment

The most common reason that someone is charged with a fraud overpayment or an at fault overpayment is because they said on their application that they lost their job due to a lay off or a reduction in force when in fact they were terminated.

Why?

When one loses their job due to lay off or reduction in force, they automatically begin to receive benefits.

However, the Department of Labor then writes the employer to ask it why the claimant is no longer employed.

Fraud or At Fault Overpayments -
Not a Good Thing
If the employer writes back and says the claimant was fired due to X (willful misconduct), the DOL brands the claimant a liar, denies the claim (finding that the claimant engaged in willful misconduct) and issues an overpayment finding, seeking all paid benefits back with penalties.

You Can Still Win Benefits, and remove the Overpayment Finding if You Prove at a Pennsylvania Unemployment Referee hearing That You Were Not Fired for Willful Misconduct

If The Employer Cannot Prove You Engaged in "Willful Misconduct" -
You Become Eligible for Benefits Again and the Overpayment Evaporates
If you are involved in the above scenario, do not despair.  There is no separate penalty for making a "false" statement on your application for benefits.  If you win the Referee hearing (i.e. defeat the employer's claim that you engaged in willful misconduct), you not only start getting benefits again, but the overpayment finding is wiped out as well.

Click Here to see the Department of Labor's explanation concerning Overpayments.

Helping Pennsylvania Employees Since 1991
Philadelphia Area Employment Attorney Representing Employees

John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania. 

John typically represents workers who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County.

Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Provides Free Telephone Consultations

If you are looking for an employment lawyer, and live in Malvern, Paoli, Wayne, King of Prussia, Downingtown, Glenside, Doylestown, Radnor, Newtown Square, Exton, Philadelphia, West Chester, Lansdale, Pottstown, Haverford, Nether Providence, Broomall, Drexel Hill, Reading or any of their surrounding towns, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always glad to spend some time with people via a free telephone consultation.

Need an Employment Labor Lawyer Near Philadelphia?

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues

Click Here to e-mail John directly.


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