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Overpayments and Penalties

A benefit overpayment is when you collect unemployment benefits you are not eligible to receive. The most common reasons for an overpayment are:

Overpayments are classified as either fraud or non-fraud.

  • Fraud: If we determine that you intentionally gave false information or withheld information, the overpayment is considered fraud. You will have to pay a 30 percent penalty in addition to the overpayment amount. You may also be disqualified for future benefits for up to 23 weeks.
  • Non-fraud: If the overpayment was not your fault, it’s considered non-fraud. You will receive a notice telling you if the overpayment must be repaid.

How We Notify You

Notice of Potential Overpayment

We will send you a Notice of Potential Overpayment (DE 1447) if we need more information to determine if you were overpaid or the amount you were overpaid. You must respond to the notice within 15 days so we can make the correct determination.

If we determine the potential overpayment was not your fault or was not due to fraud, you may qualify for an overpayment waiver. We will send you a Personal Financial Statement (DE 1446) with the Notice of Potential Overpayment.

Overpayment Waiver

To be considered for a waiver, you must complete and return the Personal Financial Statement (DE 1446). We will review your information to determine if repaying the overpayment would cause you extraordinary hardship.

If you qualify for a waiver, we will send you a Notice of Overpayment Waiver with the amount that was waived. If you do not qualify for a waiver, we will send you a Notice of Overpayment (DE 1444) with the reason why the waiver was denied.

Note: You cannot request a waiver if we did not mail you the Notice of Potential Overpayment (DE 1447) with a Personal Financial Statement. If you disagree with the Notice of Overpayment, submit an appeal in writing within 30 days.

Waiver Determination

We primarily use your gross family income to determine if you qualify for a waiver. Gross income is your income before taxes and deductions.

We will review your income for the past six months. You will qualify for a waiver if your average monthly income was less than or equal to the amounts in the Family Income Level Table for that time period.

Family Income Level Table for July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022
Number of People in Family Gross Monthly Income
1 $1,351
2 $2,094
3 $2,803
4 $3,377
5 $4,018
6 $4,660

 

For families of seven or more, add $642 for each additional person.

We prepare the Family Income Level Table each State Fiscal Year following the requirements in Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 1375.

Notice of Overpayment

If we determine you collected unemployment benefits you were not eligible to receive, we will send you a Notice of Overpayment (DE 1444). The Notice of Overpayment will include:

  • The total amount due.
  • A summary for each week that you were overpaid.
  • Information on how to appeal.

If you did not qualify for a waiver, your notice will also include the reason why the waiver was denied.

Appeal Rights

You have the right to appeal an overpayment determination. You must submit your appeal in writing within 30 days of the mailing date on the Notice of Overpayment (DE 1444).

You can download the Appeal Form (DE 1000M) (PDF) or use the copy included with each Notice of Overpayment you receive.

If you don’t have a copy of the Appeal Form, you can write us a letter stating that you want to appeal the overpayment determination. Your letter must include your name, address, Social Security number, and the reason why you disagree with the determination.

Important: Mail your appeal or letter to the return address listed on the Notice of Overpayment.

If your appeal is approved, you will receive a notice from the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. If your appeal is denied, you will continue to receive notices for the collection of the overpayment.

For more information on the appeals process, visit California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

Repay Your Overpayment

You will not be able to repay your overpayment until you receive a Benefit Overpayment Collection Notice (DE 8344) with your Claimant ID and Letter ID numbers. We will send the Benefit Overpayment Collection Notice 30 days after we send the Notice of Overpayment (DE 1444), or when an appeal is denied. You will also receive a Benefit Overpayment Statement of Amount Due (DE 8301R) every 60 days with your Claimant ID and Letter ID numbers.

Visit Benefit Overpayment Services to:

  • Make a payment.
  • View your balance and payments.
  • Set up an agreement to make monthly payments.

You can also set up monthly payments by contacting the Benefit Overpayment Collection Section at 1-800-676-5737.

If you do not repay your overpayment on time, the money can be deducted from future unemployment, disability, or Paid Family Leave benefits. We can also:

  • Withhold your federal and state income tax refunds.
  • Withhold your state lottery winnings.
  • Withhold other money the state owes you.
  • File a claim against you in court.
  • Charge you court costs and interest.
  • Record a lien on your property.

For more information, visit Your Tax Refund or Lottery Money Was Sent to the EDD.

For legal authority, visit Legal References for Unemployment.

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