Unemployment Compensation Article


Know Your Rights: Waiver of Overpayment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits

WORK-LIFE LAW AND POLICY CLINIC
www.law.asu.edu/worklifeclinic
(480) 727-2382

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: WAIVER OF OVERPAYMENT OF
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS


Claimants who have been overpaid unemployment insurance benefits are responsible
for repaying that money back to the state. However, some claimants may be eligible for
a waiver of repayment. This document explains waiver and offers tips to claimants
seeking one with the Arizona Department of Economic Security (“DES”).

What is a Waiver of Overpayment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits?


• A waiver is a decision from DES that a claimant does not have to repay all or some
part of the outstanding debt that may be owed from the overpayment of benefits.


• You may be eligible for a waiver if: the overpayment was obtained through no fault of
your own; and it would be against equity and good conscience to require repayment. 1

How does DES determine fault?


• DES currently interprets fault as any overpayment with a classification of other than
administrative. Given this, DES only considers waiver requests for administrative
overpayments. For more information on the type of classification and how to appeal
it, see Know Your Rights: Overpayment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits.

How does DES determine “against equity and good conscience”?

• DES examines whether it would be fair and the degree of difficulty it would create for
a claimant to repay the debt, even in small amounts over a period of time.

• According to DES,2 some of the factors that are relevant to the determination of
whether repayment would be “against equity and good conscience” include:

1) Overpayment Status including the current balance of benefits owed, longevity of
debt, and efforts to repay.

o Ex: Claimant has had an overpayment for over five years. During that
time, Claimant has worked temporarily and consistently made payments
when possible. Claimant has not found work for a year and has been
unable to fully pay off the overpayment debt.

2) Financial Considerations such as income, living expenses, and other debt.

o Ex: Claimant makes repairs to her vehicle that, had it not been for the
awarded benefits, would have postponed.

o Ex: Claimant provides money to help his 19 year old son get dental work
that would have not have been offered but for the benefits.

o Ex: Claimant has a significant amount of credit card debt, obtains public
assistance for housing and medical care, and has no savings.

3) Potential earning power like whether the Claimant has specialized skills,
barriers to employment exist, and caregiver roles.

o Ex: Claimant was able and willing to work when she received benefits, but
now has a medical condition that prevents her from working full time.

o Ex: There has been a downturn in the claimant’s industry recently and
Claimant’s limited other skills has prevented him from finding new work.

Are there any other requirements?

• DES requires the overpayment to be final before someone can apply for a waiver.

o The overpayment classification typically becomes final 15 days after the date
listed on the Determination of Overpayment.

o The determination is not final if an eligibility or overpayment appeal is pending.

How can I apply for a Waiver?

• Submit a Confidential Financial Statement (UB092A) to DES.3

• Attach supplemental documentation that includes any information that:

o Is relevant to determining whether repayment would be “against equity and good
conscience” and/or

o You did not have room to explain on the Confidential Financial Statement form.

* Remember to keep a copy of all information submitted to and received from DES.*

What happens after you file for a Waiver?

• A Deputy will review the form and make a determination.

• If the deputy approves the waiver, DES will notify you in writing and state that you
are relieved of your obligation to repay.

• If the deputy denies your waiver, DES will notify you in writing, and you may:

1) Appeal the determination of deputy within 15 days of the date listed on the
determination. If you timely appeal a waiver denial, DES will send you a notice of
a telephonic hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

• As the notice will explain, you may submit documents and/or register
witnesses for the telephonic hearing. The ALJ also asks you questions
under oath, including whether there is other testimony you’d like to provide.

• After the hearing, the ALJ issues a written decision, which may be
appealed further if you believe it is wrong.

2) Try to set up a repayment plan by contacting DES’s Office of Accounts Receivable and Collection at (602) 252-0024.

3) Repay the overpayment in full.

• You may apply for another waiver later if your circumstances change from the
original application. For example, if you lose a job or incur significant medical
expenses for a dependent. This starts the waiver application process over again.

For More Information Visit

• DES’s Guide to Unemployment Insurance (p.9),
https://www.azdes.gov/InternetFiles/Pamphlets/pdf/pau-007-PD.pdf.

• The William E. Morris Institute for Justice’s Guide to Unemployment Insurance (p. 34),
http://morrisinstituteforjustice.org/docs/UnemploymentInsuranceGuide.pdf.

• Information about referrals for legal assistance is available at http://www.azlawhelp.org/ or
by calling (866) 637-5341.


Contributing Attorney: Marcy Karin is the Faculty Supervisor of the Work-Life Law and Policy Clinic at Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at ASU.

Prepared on 4/8/2015 by Aften Anaya, Certified Limited Practice Student

1 A.R.S. § 23-787(c).

2 Notice of Substantive Policy Statement Arizona Department of Economic Security, # 3-18P-001, http:///www.azdes.gov/uploadedFiles/DES_Rules/UITax-3-18P-001.pdf.

3 A copy may be obtained on the DES website (https://www.azdes.gov/uploadedFiles/Employment/Unemployment_Insurance_Benefits/ub_092_A_english.doc) or you may request that DES mail you a copy via phone at (877) 600-2722. The form contains filing instructions

Attached Document
.pdf Know Your Rights: Waiver of Overpayment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • I HAD A PART TIME JOB BUT WAS FIRED. I AM ALSO A PART TIME COLLEGE STUDENT. CAN I DRAW UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS?
  • I approved for unemployment and received benefits for here months, I just had telephone hearing due to the reason of being fired, they went with he employer and now I have to pay back all that I was given, do I have the right to appeal this decision?
  • As a full time student working full time, what would count as full time at work is it 40 hours per week or is it something less?
  • I was laid off and filed for UI April, 2011. I received a Severance Package from my employer that payed me my salary for a period of 7.25 months in a lump sum. Unemployment originally approved me receiving UI Compensation in April 2011. They reversed their decision when I applied in November 2011 for Federal extension. They based the reversal on ARS 23-621 and A.A.C. R6-3-55460 B. DES contends these codes deny UI for anyone while they receive Severance. They do not. Please take a look. My sorting out of the mess my claim is in continues to this day. I was referred to you by Channel12
  • I am collecting unemployment and want to go to school to get a masters degree. I will be attending ONLINE only. Can I keep filing for my weekly benifits?
  • If I left the state of AZ to move to the state of OR for health reasons, is a voluntary quit still a disqualifying factor?
  • the employer charged with paying me unemployment has now asked me to do a one time very small project for a couple hundred dollars as a 1099. I'm afraid of accepting this work because I will still need unemployment benefits after this project is done. will i lose unemployment for a one time project job paying very little? Do the questions asking me about work on the weekly filing have anything to do with 1099 work or just fulltime work?
  • The state of arizona is trying to force me to repay my unemployment insurance. They state I wasn't eligible because I was married, and I have never been married ever. I missed my hearing because I never received a letter and now they want to garnish my wages because of this. What can I do and do I need to hire an attorney?
  • I was terminated because my live-in boyfriend started a competitive business. I was informed at termination I would not be eligible for UI because "competing with employer or aiding competitor" clause. Is this true? I was not informed of this rule at the time I was hired.
  • I was just laid-off from my from my fulltime job, I also have a part time job. Am I eligible for unemployment compensation?

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