Overpayments and Penalties

En Español

A benefit overpayment is when you collect unemployment benefits you are not eligible to receive. The most common reasons for an overpayment are:

  • You incorrectly reported your wages when certifying for benefits and were overpaid. Learn How to Report Work and Wages while receiving unemployment benefits.  
  • You collected benefits for a week that we later determined you were not eligible to receive.

How We Notify You

Notice of Potential Overpayment

If we have information that shows you may have been overpaid unemployment benefits, you may receive a Notice of Potential Overpayment (DE 1447). It is important to promptly respond to that request for additional information so we can make the correct overpayment determination.

Overpayment Waiver

If we determine the potential overpayment was not your fault or was not due to fraud, you may qualify for an overpayment waiver. We will send you a Notice of Potential Overpayment (DE 1447) with a Personal Financial Statement (DE 1446). To be considered for a waiver, you must complete and return the Personal Financial Statement. We will review your information to determine if repaying the overpayment would cause you extraordinary hardship.

Notice of Overpayment

If we determine you were paid unemployment benefits you were not eligible to collect, you will receive a Notice of Overpayment (DE 1444). Overpayments are classified as either fraud or non-fraud.

Fraud Overpayment

If we determine that you intentionally gave false information or withheld information, the overpayment is considered fraud. You will have to pay a 30 percent penalty in addition to the overpayment amount. You may also be disqualified for future benefits for up to 23 weeks.

Non-Fraud Overpayment

If the overpayment was not your fault, it’s considered non-fraud. You will receive a notice telling you if the overpayment must be repaid.

Appeal Rights

You have the right to appeal an overpayment determination. You must submit your appeal in writing within 30 days of the mailing date on the Notice of Overpayment (DE 1444).

You can download the Appeal Form (DE 1000M) or use the copy included with each Notice of Overpayment you receive. Mail your appeal to the return address shown on the notice.

If you don’t have a copy of the Appeal Form, you can write us a letter stating that you want to appeal the overpayment determination. You must include the reason why you disagree with the determination. Mail your letter to the return address listed on your Notice of Overpayment.

Manage Your Overpayment

Use Benefit Overpayment Services to:

  • Make a payment.
  • View your balance and payments.
  • Set up an installment agreement.

For a list of available repayment options, visit Benefit Overpayment Services.

If you do not repay your overpayment on time, the money can be deducted from future unemployment or State Disability Insurance benefits. We can also:

  • Withhold your federal and state income tax refunds.
  • Withhold your state lottery winnings.
  • 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.

For legal authority, visit Legal References for Unemployment.