Treasury Offset Program Collection
If you have an overpayment of unemployment benefits, and have not repaid that debt, your federal Internal Revenue Service tax refunds may be subject to reduction by the overpaid amount.
The Treasury Offset Program is a federal program that collects past due debts owed to federal and state agencies by capturing IRS tax refunds to offset these debts. TWC issues letters to former unemployment benefit claimants who have debts that are subject to collection through TOP.
Federal law requires TWC to collect specific types of unemployment benefit debt from both claimants and employers. Claimants with an overpayment caused by incorrectly reported earnings, fraud and fraud penalties are subject to TOP.
Collection through TOP is only initiated after an overpayment determination is final and other collection notices have failed. If you have an overpayment that is subject to TOP, TWC will mail a letter showing the amount you owe, along with instructions on how to avoid referral to collection. You must complete one of the following actions within 60 days of the mail date of the letter to avoid collection through TOP:
- Submit full payment of the amount indicated
- Enter into a six-month repayment plan and submit the first monthly payment
- Submit documentation showing that you have paid the debt in full
- Submit documentation explaining why the amount is not subject to TOP referral, such as a bankruptcy ruling
Send payment or documentation to:
TOP Overpayment Collections
File A Weekly Certification
After you have filed your initial application for UC benefits or reopened an existing claim, you must file a certification for each week in which you are totally or partially unemployed.
A week for UC purposes begins on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. The compensable week ending date is always a Saturday.
In most cases, you will file claims for weekly or every two weeks at one time. You will get paid according to when you file.
Filing can be done using the following methods:
If you are eligible for benefits, you should receive your first benefit payment within four weeks after the effective date of your application, provided you file your certifications on time.
If I Do Not Get A Waiver Can I Appeal
If you do not get a waiver, you can file an appeal in Superior Court. You must file your appeal within 10 days. Your appeal is called an 80C appeal.
The Superior Court has to accept the facts found by the Commission. The court can only change the Commissions decision if it is unconstitutional, is based on an error of law, or is not supported by facts in the record taken as a whole. For most people, this may be difficult to do without the help of a lawyer.
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What Documents And Information Are Necessary To Apply For Unemployment Benefits In Pa
To successfully apply for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania, interested UC petitioners are required to provide several types of documents and information that will support their UC claim. Regardless of whether you are using a paper or online application for unemployment in PA, you must submit:
- Your Pennsylvania state ID card or a drivers license.
- Your Social Security card.
- Your alien registration number .
- Your contact information, such as your phone number, email address, mailing address and residential address.
- Your personal information, such as your date of birth, gender, ethnicity and race.
- Your recent employment history, such as your employers contact information, the dates of your employments and the reason you were dismissed.
The above list is not all-inclusive, and PA claimants who are applying for UC benefits may be required to submit additional paperwork, based on their circumstances. Therefore, you must check the status of your Pennsylvania unemployment EDD application on a regular basis.
Note: Providing false information to the state Department of Labor and Industry is punishable by law.
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Pennsylvania residents looking to access the states new Unemployment Compensation system will need to use a personal identification code known as their Keystone ID to do so. Anyone without one will be required to create one the first time they log on to the online portal.
The previous, 40-year-old legacy system has been replaced with a new computer system and the Keystone ID will replace the UC Personal Identification number which was previously used to file for the biweekly benefits.
How to get a Pennsylvania Keystone ID to claim unemployment benefits
The Keystone ID will provide a single, secure way to access a variety of state-organised resources using the same online system.
If you do not yet have one, simply use the states New User online portal to create your account. From here simply fill in your personal details and you will be issued with a Keystone ID with which you can log into your account.
If you need to claim unemployment benefits, you can log into your online account and use the Online Employment Complaint Form to file your claim.
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How Do I Get My Pa Unemployment Back Pay
You should call the UC service center as soon as possible to request that your application be backdated to the week in which you were laid off, if you have not already done so. In the event that you wish to have your application for benefits and claim for lost weeks backdated, the service center will make a determination.
If Your Appeal Is Appealed
Unfortunately, this is not always a one-and-done process. You might win your appeal only to receive notice that your employer is again appealing the decision so your successful unemployment appeal can be reversed. You usually have the right to do the same if your appeal is denied.
The subsequent hearing might take place before a different judge or panel. For example, a second appeal goes to the Board of Review in New Jersey. This state is particularly generous about the appeals process. You can reach out a third time to the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court if the second review doesnt go your way.
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What Is A Waiver And When Should I Consider Asking For A Waiver
If you get a decision that asks you to repay unemployment benefits, you may be able to ask for a waiver. A waiver is different than an appeal. You can only ask for a waiver if you have lost all appeals or the time for appealing is over. A waiver forgives all or part of the benefits you are asked to repay. In other words, you might have to repay a smaller amount, or nothing at all.
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What Is Adjudication Process
Adjudication is the process by which a court judge resolves issues between two parties. Adjudication hearings are similar to the arbitration hearing process. Generally, adjudication hearings involve money or nonviolent infractions that result in a distribution of rights and obligations for all parties involved.
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More Staff At Pa Unemployment Call Center After Lawmaker Broadcasts Busy Signal On Call
It was a familiar sound to many Pennsylvanians who have called for help with unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic a busy signal.
The harsh repeat buzzing was broadcast last week from the phone of state Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Allegheny/Washington.
Mihalek called the unemployment compensation call center during a house appropriations committee budget hearing for the state Department of Labor and Industry. The droning sound filled the chamber.
Can you all hear that? Mihalek asked. Im trying to get in touch with somebody at the Department of Labor and Industry. I have been all morning. I have been for 11 months.
During the hearing, Mihalek said her staff recently had three calls from residents who havent gotten unemployment checks in a year.
Rep. Natalie Mihalek live-called the Unemployment Compensation Call Center and received a busy signal to lead off questioning. Watch the exchange:
PA House GOP Approps
Over the last year, more than 30% of eligible claims waited more than two weeks to receive a first payment, compared to 12% the previous year, Spotlight PA reported.
On Wednesday, the Department of Labor and Industry announced it will add at least 500 new customer service representatives to the unemployment compensation call center, up to 1,000 total new staff if needed.
The move will allow existing staff to move to resolving claims full time.
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New State Unemployment System Debuts
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Pas New Unemployment Benefits System Now Online Glitches Reported
HARRISBURG, Pa. Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier said Tuesday the new unemployment benefits system is now online and accepting claims at benefits.uc.pa.gov.
The new unemployment compensation system replaces a 40-year-old mainframe that made filing for unemployment benefits complicated for users and processing benefits cumbersome for staff, according to a news release from the state Department of Labor & Industry.
The state says the new system will make filing for benefits easier and faster for users and that staff will need less time to process claims, which is expected to help reduce the number of users waiting for their claim to be processed.
A soft launch of the new UC system took place just after 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, with more than 41,000 people filing claims by 10:40 a.m.
A phone issue independent of the new system launch that affected multiple state agencies temporarily caused L& Is unemployment hotlines to become unavailable Tuesday, according to the department news release. The phone system came back online at around 11 a.m., and the state said people with questions about the new system can call the Unemployment Compensation Service Center at 888-313-7284 or email .
L& I said a small percentage of users are experiencing an issue logging in with their Keystone ID or when they attempt to change their payment type. The issue is related to server connectivity, and a fix is underway, the department said.
Reasons For Your Unemployment
The reason for your unemployment cannot be your fault. In other words, if you simply quit your job for no good reason, you will not be eligible. If you were laid off from your job because of downsizing or a reduction-in-force, you will meet the eligibility requirement.
Getting fired because you werent a good fit wont necessarily prevent you from collecting unemployment benefits. If you were fired for misconduct, you will not be able to collect unemployment, however. Misconduct in Pennsylvania involves intentionally violating your employers rule, careless behavior that is severe or failing to conform to the minimum reasonable standards for the job.
If you quit for good cause, you might be able to receive unemployment benefits. Good cause reasons might include quitting for health reasons, losing your transportation without having an alternative means of getting to work or if your spouse was relocated and you could not afford to maintain two homes.
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Other Types Of Benefits And Programs For The Unemployed
Federal agencies offer many unemployment education and training programs. They are generally free or low cost to the unemployed.
Self-employment assistance programs help unemployed workers start their own small businesses. Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, and Oregon offer this program.
Repayment If Requesting Benefits
If you are requesting benefits, TWC will apply each eligible weekly benefit payment toward repaying your overpayment until it is repaid.
NOTE: As of May 30, 2021, TWC will use only 50 percent of a claimants weekly benefit amount to repay their overpayment, unless otherwise required by law. For example: if a claimants weekly benefit is $324, they will receive $162 per week and $162 will be applied to the overpayment, until paid in full.
If you previously established a repayment schedule, we will cancel the repayment arrangements you made before beginning your claim if we are offsetting all or part of your weekly benefit amount to repay the overpayment. If desired, you can make additional payments directly to TWC to repay your overpayment debt sooner. We are not able to change the amount that is offset from your benefits.
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How To Appeal A Denial
If your benefits claim is denied, you must appeal the decision within 15 days. You complete your appeal in writing and either mail or email it to the Department of Labor * Industry. A hearing will then be scheduled. The hearing will be held before a referee, who is an administrative official. You may appeal the referees decision to the Board of Review if you disagree with it. Finally, you may also appeal the boards decision to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. In order to increase the chances that your application will be approved, you might want to get help from the employment law attorneys at Swartz Swidler.
Do You Meet The Minimum Earnings Requirement
Virtually all states look at your recent work history and earnings during a one-year “base period” to determine your eligibility for unemployment. . In Pennsylvania, as in most states, the base period is the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed your benefits claim. For example, if you filed your claim in October of 2021, the base period would be from June 1, 2020, through May 31, 2021.
During the base period, you must meet all of the following requirements in order to be eligible for unemployment:
- You must have earned at least $116 per week during at least 18 weeks in the base period.
- You must have earned at least $1,688 during the highest quarter in your base period.
- You must have earned at least $3,391 in total wages during the base period.
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Who Is The Unemployment Insurance Meant For
Its meant for everyone eligible for it. Such person or a number of persons must be a resident of Pennsylvania. He or she must also be unemployed, must have worked in Pennsylvania during the past 12 months or more in some cases.
Additionally, such a person must have earned a minimum amount of wages determined by Pennsylvania guidelines. He or she must also actively seek employment while collecting the benefit.
Frustration With Pa Unemployment
I am currently collecting unemployment and I am disgusted with the current updated state system. My account has been hacked by someone. I filed a fraud report with the Office of Unemployment Compensation, but now I am unable to receive my weekly payment.
I called the state office July 26 and thought I got lucky when someone answered right away. I was disappointed, though, as she said she was not a consultant and could not assist me. She just took my information and passed it on to someone else. She said that people complained they could never get through on the phone. Now they can, but the people answering can do nothing to help us, so we are no better off than we were before.
I was given a ticket number that will take three weeks to be answered by a consultant who will be calling me. The ticket number currently being serviced and my ticket number are more than 44,000 numbers apart I was told they service about 3,000 to 4,000 tickets a day.
The fraud may continue until it is rectified. Meanwhile, I receive no payments and, because of this new system, I am worse off than I was with the antiquated system.
When asked, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will not admit there are problems officials seemingly believe this new system is so much better.
Pennsylvanians are being hacked and compromised. Harrisburg, how is this a better system?
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How To File A Claim For Unemployment Benefits In Pennsylvania
You may file your claim for unemployment benefits online, by phone, by fax, or by mail. You can find online filing information and contact information at the DLI’s website. Once you file, you must continue to file weekly claims with the DLI for each week for which you are claiming benefits.
Once it receives your application, the DLI will send you some documents, including a Notice of Financial Determination indicating your potential benefit amount and duration.
How Do I File An Unemployment Claim
How Do I Submit an Application?
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Unemployment Overpayments And Collections
Posted: Based on your appeal, the overpayment may be removed when we can confirm you are eligible. You may appeal an overpayment decision by following the instructions on the letter we send to you. You can also learn more about appeals on the Benefits Denials and Appeals page of our website. Please do not ignore overpayment notices