I have been collecting unemployment starting with the NBA strike due to the fact that I work for Aramark and that is a "seasonal job." Recently I got a letter from Colorado Department of Unemployment telling me that they have over payed me for 6 months. I have always reported wages and hours accurately. Over 6 months they have payed me about 5k and now they want half of that back. It all started because in the last 2 weeks I have worked full time meaning no benefits those weeks which I understand. The letter has only an amount owed and reason being "monetary redetermination" I am scared that by trying to get help I am now going to be in more dept. What is the best action to take?
Monetary Redetermination I guess was based on them putting my wages too high. My w2 and check stubs that I sent them were accurate. Somehow they changed my wages mid way through the year without me knowing. I did notice a slight increase in payed weekly amount but nothing too significant. I am still confused at how this is my fault and why I owe them for there mistake.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have to be your fault. If a bank makes an error and credits money to your account that isn't yours, they are still entitled to take the money back when the problem is discovered even though it wasn't your fault -- it's still not your money. Similarly, if the unemployment office overpaid you, then they can take that money back because you sholdn't have received it in the first place. Essentialy, you got use of the money interest free for awhile, but it's not really your money and you are not entitled to keep it.
You can appeal the determination or seek reconsideration if you believe that the money was not payed to you by mistake. Alternatively, this sort of debt is dischargable in bankruptcy if it was the department's error and there was no fraud on your part.
You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or info@Harkess-Salter.com. Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.