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CNN Sobs: Jobless Benefits Have To Be Paid Back

From CNN’s Money.Com:

Here’s your unemployment check. Now pay it back

By Annalyn Kurtz | October 18, 2013

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – Thousands of furloughed federal employees filed for state unemployment benefits during the weeks they were stranded without a paycheck. But now that Congress has approved back pay for them, the states want that money back.

What an outrage. Why can’t they just keep it? (Which, in reality, they probably will.)

Data released by the Labor Department early Thursday, show 70,000 federal employees filed for unemployment the first week of the government shutdown.

And that was just in the first week. The shutdown lasted 16 days.

According to separate data obtained by CNNMoney, federal workers filed a total of 20,000 claims in Maryland, 16,000 claims in Washington D.C., 7,600 claims in Pennsylvania and around 6,000 in Virginia during the entire 16-day shutdown. Even though the shutdown has ended, more claims could still be processed in the next few days.

It’s unclear just how much money was overpaid.

Perhaps we’ll never know.

In Washington DC, 1,700 payments went out, totaling around $500,000. The DC Department of Employment Services had thousands more payments in the pipeline but has since instructed the bank to cancel the transactions.

The agency is also in the process of informing recipients of the repayment process.

Good luck with that.

"If they have not actually taken any money out, we will then send them a notice and reverse the payment," said Lisa Mallory, director of the agency. "If they have accessed the funds already, we will tell them the amount that needs to be repaid." …

If all else fails, the agency also has the authority to garnish federal workers’ wages…

Which, we suspect, has ever been done in the past.

This isn’t the first time furloughed workers had to return their unemployment checks. During the government shutdown in 1995 and 1996, state agencies also tried to recoup the overpaid funds.

Notice that we’re not told that any money was actually returned back then. Which would indicate that no money was returned then. And it probably won’t be now.

Meanwhile, we have this from Fox News:

Furloughed government workers could be paid twice in Oregon

October 18, 2013

Some federal workers who were furloughed in Oregon could be getting paid twice, with a state official confirming to Fox News that those workers who received state unemployment benefits during the partial government shutdown will not have to re-pay the money.

The spokesman for WorkSource Oregon Employment Department said the workers received at most a week’s worth of unemployment benefits. The spokesman said he did not know how many workers received the benefits.

He confirmed that furloughed federal workers in the state do not have to re-pay the state unemployment benefits…

And we suspect that will be the case in most other places.

After all, did FEMA ever claw back any of the billions they gave to the wrong people after Katrina?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, October 18th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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