Regular UC Overpayments

Regular UC Overpayments

What is an overpayment?

Unemployment overpayments happen when the government determines a person was not eligible for benefits they previously received.  

For state unemployment compensation, all overpayments are either “fault” or “non-fault.” Overpayments for federal programs, like the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), are termed “fraud” or “non-fraud.”

PA UC Overpayments

Non-fault overpayments:

These often result from a reversal of eligibility.  If you were overpaid benefits, or received benefits you turned out not to be eligible for, a non-fault overpayment is the best case outcome.  You can only get rid of this overpayment if you overturn the decision that found you ineligible for the benefits.

Can the government get the money back?

The only way the government can take the money back is if you collect some type of unemployment benefits during the three years after your overpayment decision.  They can take ⅓ of each benefit payment until the overpayment is repaid.

Will the government forgive my overpayment?

There is no forgiveness or waiver of a Pennsylvania non-fault overpayment.  However, if you have a non-fraud overpayment for a federal unemployment benefit, like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), you can apply for waiver of the overpayment.  If you are granted waiver, the overpayment is forgiven and the government will have to give you back any of your current benefits they took.

Fault overpayments:

The government gives out fault overpayments when it believes you intentionally withheld information or lied to get benefits.  If the overpayment was due to a mistake or a misunderstanding on your part, you should appeal and explain what happened in your Unemployment Referee Hearing.

Fault overpayments collect interest as long as you still owe any of the original amount.

Can the government get the money back?

Yes.  Fault overpayments have serious consequences.  The government can collect the money in the following ways:

  1. If you file for and are eligible for unemployment benefits during the next 10 years, they can take your entire benefit payment until the overpayment is repaid.
  2. They can file a lien against you in the Court of Common Pleas
  3. In most cases, they can intercept your federal tax refund

You can choose to repay the money online here or by mailing a check made payable to “PA UC Fund” to:


Office of UC Benefits
UI Payment Services
PO Box 67503
Harrisburg, PA 17106-7503

Are there other penalties?

Sometimes, the government may give you other penalties, including a 15% penalty amount or “penalty weeks.”  Penalty weeks are “dead” weeks — meaning even though you are eligible for benefits, you have to file and receive no money until the penalty weeks are over.

If I have a fault overpayment or penalty weeks, should I just not file?

No.  It is still very important to file for benefits.  You want to “spend” the penalty weeks so that you can get benefits in the future.  And even if the government offsets your benefits for a fault overpayment, it’s good because that pays the overpayment down for you.

I was not aware I had an overpayment, is there anything I can do to get rid of it? Should I just not file?

If you never received notices and find out now you have an overpayment, you should appeal and explain that you did not previously know about the overpayment.