North Carolina paid millions in unemployment. Now they want some of it back.

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RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — The North Carolina Division of Employment Security overpaid millions in benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic and now they want it back.

The problem is impacting workers who lost their jobs or say they had their hours cut, making it tough to pay their bills. They applied for unemployment, were approved, and got benefits for months, but now the state says it was all a mistake.

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Monique Moman is one of those who got letters from NC DES letting her know she was overpaid in unemployment benefits.

“Whoa, how do I owe $5,000? I should not have to pay this $5,000 back, I did not refuse to work,” she said.

Moman along with two of her co-workers, Tierra Mack and Mia Eaton, all worked at a Chapel Hill daycare and all three got the same letters from DES telling them the unemployment benefits they got for months now needed to be returned. It said they’re ineligible for benefits because they refused to work.

“I never refused to go to work. I worked the two days I was scheduled to work,” Mack said.

It started back in March when all three filed for unemployment after COVID-19 impacted the number of kids at their daycare. They said not many parents were sending their kids to the daycare so their hours were cut.

“I went down to 16 hours a week…because I was asked to,” Mack said.

They have an email from the owner of the daycare, telling them their options, which included filing for unemployment if they went from full-time down to part-time.

Read more here.