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Thread: Messed up my unemployment claim

  1. #1
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    Default Messed up my unemployment claim

    I’d had the same job for over 10 years. In September of 2004, I was let go because the company simply wasn’t making enough money to pay me. (I earned close to $1000 per week) About 3 weeks after they laid me off I began collecting unemployment at the maximum rate of $405 per week.

    During the next 8 months, this company was occasionally able to offer me a week of consulting work. This was NOT the same type of work that I used to do for them, and it was not in the office, so they paid me via regular check and I paid income tax and self-employment tax on the money. When they gave me a week’s work, I did not claim benefits for that week from UI.

    1) When I was doing my taxes, I went back through all of my records and found that there were 2 weeks in 2005 that I claimed unemployment benefits but actually did some work for my old company that paid me more than the $405 minimum. I have NOT received an overpayment determination for these two weeks. However, I know it’s just a matter of time. I would like to contact them and voluntarily repay for these weeks BEFORE I get hunted down. Is this a bad idea? I just want to get it taken care of before they go after me and involve my employer—I have been rehired on a part-time basis and need to keep the job!

    2) For the weeks that I did work and did tell UI that I was working, I think I underreported my gross income for those weeks because I wasn’t sure how much I would actually get paid. However, I received zero benefits those weeks anyway. So does the underreported income matter?

    I AM NOT CONCERNED ABOUT REPAYING ANY/ALL OF MY BENEFITS! I will happily take out a loan and repay anything I owe, even if it's all $10000 or so of my 6 months of benefits. My ONLY concerns are 1) impact on my current job, and 2) criminal action.

    Jennifer
    Last edited by jennem; 04-17-2006 at 10:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'm confused. If you didn't report the work for the week, why didn't you get benefits for that week? Or did you just not file a claim for that week?

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry. I'm being too wordy.

    There were two weeks I WORKED but also CLAIMED and RECEIVED benefits.

    I need to give back my unemployment benefits for those two weeks since when I claimed I said that I didn't work, but I did actually work. (Just 1 day each time, but was paid more than the $405 for that day.) I probably need to pay penalties too. And who knows what else.

    Eventually I'm sure I'll get an Overpayment notice, but can I repay before that fact? I just don't want to get my employer involved!

    I am happy to pay any amount that I owe them...I just don't want to go to jail, basically!

    Jennifer
    Last edited by jennem; 04-17-2006 at 11:25 AM.

  4. #4
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    You won't go to jail.

    No, it is not a bad idea to contact the UI office first. In fact, it's a very good idea to voluntarily contact them since you discovered the problem instead of waiting for them to do so. It could have a salutory affect on interest and penalties, if any, for one thing.

  5. #5
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    Awesome, thanks. I'll try to call them tomorrow. I tried today but I have yet to find a direct #. I go through a long series of touch-tone selections on the 888# and then get a message that they are too busy and to call again later.

    You know, I had a lawyer tell me (off the record) that even if they found that my whole $10,000 claim was fraudulent, that they would just send me a great big bill and that I wouldn't go to jail unless I refused to repay. He reiterated that NY really just cares about the money. He said that NYC in particular is not very aggressive about criminal action in unemployment cases as long as they get their money back ASAP.

    However, I have never done anything illegal in my life--not even a traffic ticket--so I am incredibly paranoid that they will make an example of me! I'm ready to send them a check for my entire claim just 'cause I'm so scared about it!

    Jennifer

  6. #6
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    Trust me, this is NOT something for which jail is a possiblity. A close friend of mine recently filed a claim that could have been considered fraudulent, FAR closer to meeting the definition of fraudulent than your innocent error; on my advise she owned up, and all that happened was that she was given 30 days to repay the claim. Not the entire claim, only the week that was questionable.

    Don't worry about it.

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