Overpayments and Penalties

You received a Notice of Overpayment (DE 1444) because you were paid Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits that you were not eligible for. Visit Benefit Overpayment Services for information on how to repay an overpayment.

The EDD classifies overpayments into two categories: fraud or non-fraud.

Fraud: If the EDD finds that you intentionally gave false information or withheld information and, as a result, received benefits that you should not have received, the overpayment is considered fraud. Withholding or giving false information to obtain benefits is a serious offense that can result in penalties and criminal prosecution. With a fraud overpayment, you can receive a penalty equal to 30 percent of the overpayment amount. Additionally, you can be disqualified for 5 to 23 weeks. You must repay fraud overpayments and penalties.

Non-Fraud: If you received benefits you were not eligible for and the overpayment was not your fault, the overpayment is considered non-fraud. You will receive a notice telling you if the overpayment must be repaid.

If you do not repay your overpayment quickly, the EDD can deduct the money from your future UI or State insurance benefits. The EDD can also:

  • Reduce or withhold your federal and state income tax refunds.
  • Reduce or withhold your state lottery winnings.
  • Reduce or 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.

Benefit Payment Control Program

Overpayments are a part of the Benefit Payment Control (BPC) program. BPC’s purpose is to protect the integrity of the UI Trust Fund by:

  • Preventing improper payment of benefits.
  • Detecting improper payments.
  • Recovering overpayments.
  • Prosecuting cases involving fraud.

Legal Authority

The BPC’s legal authority can be found in the Social Security Act (Title III) and the Internal Revenue Code. For more information on the interpretation of the Social Security Act’s federal and state requirements, review the following resources: