People who claim benefits when they aren’t eligible are required to repay any and all overpayments in full, with a penalty assessed if the overpayment was due to fraud.
The department is very aggressive about collecting overpayments. If the claimant is employed, the department will garnish their wages. Yes – this means their new employers will discover they owe us money.
Other steps include garnishing the spouse’s wages, filing an administrative lien on personal property such as vehicles or private property, and seizing bank accounts and tax refunds.
Collection activity is a lot of work, but worth the investment. Allowing improperly paid benefits to stay uncollected isn’t fair to the many unemployed people who play by the rules. Collection efforts also help prevent employers from paying unnecessary taxes for benefits.
Bottom line: Collecting benefits when you shouldn’t isn’t worth the pain of having to pay them back ─ with penalties and interest.