Maryland now processing waivers for unemployment claimants who were overpaid

Department overpaid PUA claimants $469M
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Posted at 6:05 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 18:23:36-04

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Department of Labor has started processing unemployment insurance overpayment waivers for federal programs.

The Department has received 5,199 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance waiver requests. Of those, 2,313 waivers have been processed, and so far, all have been approved.

WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii has reported extensively on claimants who received overpayment notices for thousands of dollars and say it was due to no fault of their own. In August, the Department notified about 85,000 claimants with overpayments from the PUA, PEUC, FPUC, and MEUC federal programs that they may be eligible for a waiver to avoid repayment.

RELATED: Jobless workers sent notices demanding repayment of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits

WMAR-2 News has found that since January 1, 2020, the Maryland Department of Labor overpaid PUA claimants more than $469 million, and 99.6 percent of those overpayments, or 87,229 cases were non-fraudulent. The Department paid out $229,000 in fraudulent overpayments, according to data submitted to USDOL.

Reasons for non-fraudulent payments include reversals, state agency errors, employer errors, claimant errors, and other errors.

As of September 30, 2021, only 11 states have waived PUA overpayments, according to USDOL data. The Maryland Department of Labor hasn't yet reported the most recent information on processed waivers to USDOL.

Claimants with overpayments are being encouraged to file a waiver request. Click here for the application and instructions.

A spokesperson said the Department is not sending out collection notices for overpayments and while each overpayment waiver request goes through an individualized, fact-intensive review process, the Department is processing these waiver requests as quickly as possible.