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Thousands may owe NC for unemployment overpayments

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A North Carolina agency says thousands of long-term unemployed people could soon owe the state money because the agency mistakenly overpaid them.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Tuesday the Employment Security Commission made about $28 million in overpayments to jobless North Carolinians over the last two years.

The agency last week began sending letters to about 38,000 people who it says were either overpaid or underpaid through no fault of their own.

The agency estimates about 15 percent of recipients were underpaid and will be eligible for additional benefits.

Overpayments could be forgiven if people apply for a waiver, but the commission wasn't able to say how those requests would be evaluated.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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All Right; All Right

everyone can put their crying towels away. And let's get a couple of issues corrected before the big news.

First, payments made are not the "personal" money of the recipients. The funds paid are from public funds; the funds paid come from a portion of the withholding taxes which every worker has deducted from their pay checks. So, in theory and fact, the funds one recieves are not directly taken from some fund in that person's name.

Second, if you read the report, unemotionally, you will note some people were actually underpaid; some people were accurately paid; and in fact, some people were overpaid.

Now, yesterday, it was announced in Raleigh, that our Governor had directed ECS chairperson, Lynn Holmes to work with the Feds in an effort to "waive" overpayments.

A couple of points on that issue.

A. is it fair to all those paid accurately to see those who were overpaid to be allowed to keep the excess payments? Is it fair to all the working force, whose paycheck withholdings fund these payments? Does not seem so. I wonder if even one person who received excess payments stepped forward, when the first check arrived and asked what was amiss? Not likely.

B. Our Governor, this week, sent the Secretary of Revenue packing into another career opportunity. He was the one accountable for all of the income tax processing issues during the past 2 years. He also authorized nearly $100,000 in "commuting" expenses for 2 employees in the Department of Revenue which allowed them to maintain their residences in Charlotte while working in Raleigh. His resignation was accepted on Wednesday.

If our Governor is serious about transparency in Government; if State taxpayers should be entitled to the best performance possible from the heads of the various state departments, then shouldn't Ms. Holmes be sent packing? Shouldn't her resignation be offered and accepted?

Face reality. If the Feds turn down the Governor's plan, then either those who received overpayments will have to return the funds either through reduced future benefits or by writing a check OR, the State will have to make up the $28,000,000 overpaid. At a time when state agencies are being directed to prepare budgets for 2011 with a 15% cut in spending, that may be a tough nut for the State to swallow.

It's past time for these state employees, who draw 6 figure salaries and get health bennies as well as retirement bennies and all of the other state perks, to be held accountable. A weak apology from the head of ESC just does not cut the mustard. And while cleaning out the house, let's send a few of those numerous computer programers and attornies, within ESC packing as well. Chair Person Holmes should not be the only one falling on a sword.

On another note, if the folks, who spent so much time bemoaning the cuts in benefits, spent an equal amount of time at WalMarts, Sams Club, Food Lion, and Toys R Us, just to name a few, submitting employment applications, they might be working; earning a living; and leaving the public entitelment roles.

NCESC Overpaid Claims

My husband has received 8 conflicting letters from the NCESC. Stating he was over paid, would get more money, then would not get more money all in a 4 day span. These nickapoops have no value of money. Most of the people receiving claims have received anywhere from 6 to 8 letters. Average that out to 6 letters per 38,000 people multiply by .44 (6 x .44 x 38,000) according to my calculatiions that equals $100,320.00
And that does not include employee time, stationary or ink.

"The improper payments are

"The improper payments are the result of the ESC pulling compensation checks from the wrong funding sources and thus overdrawing some accounts, not the result of incorrectly calculating individuals benefits, spokesman Larry Parker said".

The above was pulled from another account of what has happened. The ESC messed up and paid receipients from the wrong accounts. The right amount was paid. Why do those receiving unemployment insurance have to pay back money that was rightfully theirs to help cover a mistake by the ESC? I know the ESC is overwhelmed, but this is their mistake, not the folks trying to pay their bills.

ESC Claiming Overpayment on my claim

I get a letter from the ESC everyday saying that I was overpaid and now I am just getting $21 dollars a week instead of my regular weekly benefit amount. I have gotten 7 letters so far and counting with different amounts of money saying that I have to pay the money back. I do not understand because my account showed the correct posted money for my weekly benefit amount. Why do my family and I have to pay back money that was mine to begin with. I am waiting on the letters to stop coming and I would like to have the NCESC to find out how to solve this problem. I have two small little girls, 7 and 3 years old. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

Unemployment overpayment

"Why do my family and I have to pay back money that was mine to begin with."

>This money was never "yours". You never paid a dime into the unemployment fund...your employer did. Or should I say "former" employer. How much were you getting per week in unemployment?

"If anyone has any suggestions please let me know."

>I could be a smart-a** and say "find another job"...but I won't.

I have gotten 5 letters so

I have gotten 5 letters so far. One says the overpayments will be deducted from future payments and one today is wanting me to send them a check for the overpayment. If I send them a check, they will keep deducting and I will pay back more than they overpayed me. The people running this are totally incompetent. We all got our correct amounts, they just sent checks from the wrong fund (see guest 666 comment above). Now they are wanting money back to cover their tails. I also notice the NCESC has a new website. Guess that was free. I am going to wait a few weeks and see if they get this fixed before I send them anything. They have already cut my weekly checks in half. From what I gather, no overpayments were made, just a foul-up on their part.