FAQs - Treasury Offset Program (TOP)

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The Treasury Offset Program (TOP) collects debts owed to federal agencies and states. If you owe a debt that is past due to a government agency, your federal payments could be offset (reduced or withheld) to pay for it. The Employment Development Department (EDD) is required by federal law to take part in the program and can collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit fraud overpayments from federal income tax refunds.

Before referring your debt to the TOP, the Benefit Overpayment Collection Section will send you the Notice of Intent to Offset Your Federal Income Tax Refund (DE 957). You will have 60 days to pay the benefit overpayment in full or prove the overpayment is not owed.

The Department of the Treasury will notify you by mail when a federal offset occurs. The letter includes the amount and date of the offset, and EDD contact information.

If you have questions about the offset, you can contact the Benefit Overpayment Collection Section at 1-800-676-5737, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific time, except on state holidays.

For more information about the TOP, visit Bureau of Fiscal Service, Treasury Offset Program.

Benefit Overpayment Collection Section records show that you have a final, unpaid, and legally enforceable Unemployment Insurance benefit fraud overpayment that can be sent to the TOP to be collected from your next federal income tax refund. The notice provides you with 60 days to prove that you paid your benefit overpayment in full or that you do not owe the debt. Refer to the instructions on the notice.

If you still have questions, you can call the Benefit Overpayment Collection Section at 1-800-676-5737, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific time, except on state holidays.

Call the Benefit Overpayment Collection Section at 1-800-676-5737, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific time, except on state holidays.

Refer to and follow the instructions on the notice. If you still have questions, call the Benefit Overpayment Collection Section at 1-800-676-5737, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific time, except on state holidays.

You must pay your benefit overpayment in full within 60 days of the date on the Notice of Intent to Offset Your Federal Income Tax Return (DE 957) to avoid having your refund offset (reduced or withheld).

Visit Benefit Overpayment Services to log in or make a payment. Options for payment are:

  • Online with Benefit Overpayment Services or Make a Payment:
    • Benefit Overpayment Services: Log in to view your balance, make a payment, or set up an installment agreement.
    • Make a Payment: Pay with Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit (no fee) or by credit card (fee applies). No enrollment necessary.
  • By phone with a credit card through Official Payments Corporation (fee applies).
  • By mail using a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order (no fee).

If you believe you no longer owe this overpayment because:

  • It was discharged in bankruptcy court, you must provide a copy of your bankruptcy court documents that contain:
    • Your case number.
    • Filing date.
    • The name of the court in which you filed your bankruptcy claim.
  • You paid the balance in full, you must provide documents from the Benefit Overpayment Collection Section showing you paid. If the overpayment amount was changed by an appeal decision from an administrative law judge, include a copy of your appeal decision.
  • Someone else used your Social Security number, you must provide copies of documents that show you reported your identity theft to the proper authorities. These documents include:
    • Police and credit agency reports.
    • Correspondence from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
    • Correspondence from your state tax agency or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Send any of your evidence documents and a copy of the Notice of Intent to Offset Your Federal Income Tax Refund (DE957) to the Benefit Overpayment Collection Section:

By Mail:

Employment Development Department (EDD)
PO Box 2530 Rancho Cordova, CA 95741

Or fax: 1-916-449-2159

Even if you are in an installment agreement or your weekly unemployment benefits are being applied to your overpayment, the law requires the EDD to collect your Unemployment Insurance benefit fraud overpayment from:

  • Federal and California state income tax refunds.
  • State lottery winnings.
  • Unclaimed property funds.

No. Your overpayment will be offset (reduced or withheld) from your future federal income tax refunds until the overpayment is paid in full.

EDD records show you have an Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit fraud overpayment based on a California UI claim filed with your Social Security number. The law requires the EDD to send the UI benefit overpayment to the IRS. Title 26, United States Code section 6402(f) allows the IRS to collect your federal income tax refund to apply it to your UI benefit fraud overpayment. This is called an offset.

If you have questions, call the Benefit Overpayment Collection Section at 1-800-676-5737, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific time, except on state holidays.

No. Federal laws allow your unpaid overpayment to be taken from your federal income tax refund without your permission.

You must request your part of the joint federal income tax refund through the IRS. Visit the Federal IRS website for information on how to request your part of the refund. You may also contact the IRS at 1-800-829-3676, or visit a local IRS Office.

If you believe you do not owe this overpayment because you did not file a California Unemployment Insurance claim, call the Benefit Overpayment Collection Section at 1-800-676-5737, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific time, except on state holidays.

Your unpaid Unemployment Insurance benefit fraud overpayment will be taken from all your future federal income tax refunds until the overpayment is paid in full. For information on how to pay your overpayment in full, visit Benefit Overpayment Services.