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(KIRO-7 Seattle)   There's trying to get blood from a stone, and then there's trying to get unemployment benefits back from unemployed people   (kiro7.com) divider line
    More: Scary, United States, KIRO-TV, Unemployment, unemployment benefits, reporter Linzi Sheldon, early November, United States Department of Homeland Security, overpayment notices  
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2985 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Dec 2020 at 2:05 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-12-02 1:21:57 PM  
Many people who have depended on unemployment benefits for months due to the pandemic impacting their jobs are experiencing a frightening new road bump: demands from the state's Employment Security Department to repay that money.

I just don't ... unbelievable.
 
2020-12-02 1:31:45 PM  
In the past, the most common way that the unemployment agencies recover their money is really the most brutal, they keep the account open and setoff the amount you owed them from the benefits you should be getting the next time you are laid off.  So when you need it the most, they yank it away from you.

The wage garnishment is the next most likely.  The agencies almost never can effectively go after your physical stuff.

Most courts say they can do the offsets from future benefits (but not the other collection options) even if you file bankruptcy and discharge the overpayment debt (except the courts in the federal 2nd Circuit region).

So there's an incentive, if you do owe an overpayment and can't get out of it somehow, to pay it when you have the ability to do so because you are rebuilding your meagre safety net of benefits for later.


And are most overpayment situations actually created by the agencies not responding timely to changes in your situation and therefore no fault really lies with you?  Oh yes.

Do some folks work under the table or take jobs and fail to report them so they can double-dip and then get in trouble later on?  Also yes.

Does this happen because the agency is vastly underfunded and understaffed and the benefits they payout are often far less than the minimum people need to get by?  Completely, absolutely yes.
 
2020-12-02 1:33:13 PM  
Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.
 
2020-12-02 2:08:24 PM  

lolmao500: Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.


While I agree with your sentiment 100%, as wejash said above, the state will get theirs back one way or another.
 
2020-12-02 2:08:45 PM  
Meanwhile, I've been fighting for 6 months to get paid unemployment. They've done everything online, then they sent me something in the mail with a phone number they say couldn't be provided online. Then they make you fax in documents to prove you are eligible for unemployment. They then tell you they didn't see the fax come in.
 
2020-12-02 2:09:01 PM  

Nadie_AZ: Many people who have depended on unemployment benefits for months due to the pandemic impacting their jobs are experiencing a frightening new road bump: demands from the state's Employment Security Department to repay that money.

I just don't ... unbelievable.


This happened to my girlfriend. Turns out it was because her employer lied to the unemployment office. It was a whole thing that ended with her being able to keep the money and quit the job.
 
2020-12-02 2:12:11 PM  
Can't billionaires not be as billionairey for a couple of years?
 
2020-12-02 2:13:58 PM  
Nowhere in this article does it state that any of the people actually owe the money. It appears to be a glitch.
 
2020-12-02 2:14:10 PM  

lolmao500: Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.


WORD
 
2020-12-02 2:15:55 PM  
make more money duh
 
2020-12-02 2:15:58 PM  

whidbey: Can't billionaires not be as billionairey for a couple of years?


Why do hate America, mom, and apple pie?
 
2020-12-02 2:16:07 PM  

mrmopar5287: Nowhere in this article does it state that any of the people actually owe the money. It appears to be a glitch.


You're a glitch.
 
2020-12-02 2:16:17 PM  

hissatsu: whidbey: Can't billionaires not be as billionairey for a couple of years?

Why do hate America, mom, and apple pie?


Chevrolet, too.
 
2020-12-02 2:16:21 PM  
"It definitely peaks my anxiety and is nerve-wracking," Whitmore said.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-12-02 2:16:39 PM  
FTFA: Tonight at 5 p.m. on KIRO 7 News, reporter Linzi Sheldon finds out what led to thousands of people getting overpayment notices in early November, what the state plans to do next with that group, and what you should do if you've received a notice of overpayment from the Employment Security Department.

I, for one, am glad that Kiro 7 is going to make everyone wait a day after panicking in their shorts, to say what the solution is. Thank God that getting eyeballs on whatever they're selling is more important than performing the duties of the fourth estate.

/ I might vomit
 
2020-12-02 2:18:10 PM  
there will be a lot more effort in getting money back from poor people than there will be getting money back from churches, think-tanks, and white-collar professionals who scooped up the free small business money even though the business was in no risk of failing.  You know, the same ones who have good solid banking relationships where the bankers did the paperwork for them.
 
2020-12-02 2:18:50 PM  
When you owe the government money, it'll find a way to get it. Take it out of your tax refund, refuse to issue you a driver's license, whatever it takes. Look at what it does to people who owe child support if you want some examples.
 
2020-12-02 2:19:36 PM  

whidbey: Can't billionaires not be as billionairey for a couple of years?


I'd love to hear KUOW play a story about how Bill Gates walked around Seattle giving checks out to small businesses. I guess I'll just keep dreaming.
 
2020-12-02 2:21:12 PM  

cyberspacedout: "It definitely peaks my anxiety and is nerve-wracking," Whitmore said.

[Fark user image image 310x366]


At first glance this could be an error, but it does make sense in the context in which it's used so I'm going to allow it.
 
2020-12-02 2:21:46 PM  
"Why are so many people getting hit with these overpayment bills?"

"Because pay up and go fark yourself," a spokesman for the governor's office said.
 
2020-12-02 2:21:57 PM  

2farknfunny: there will be a lot more effort in getting money back from poor people than there will be getting money back from churches, think-tanks, and white-collar professionals who scooped up the free small business money even though the business was in no risk of failing.  You know, the same ones who have good solid banking relationships where the bankers did the paperwork for them.


You make the process so difficult that only large corporations have the legal manpower to deal with the bureaucratic red tape.  That's a feature of the system, not a bug.
 
2020-12-02 2:23:58 PM  
Why not go after the landlords that the benefits were quickly handed to?
 
2020-12-02 2:24:27 PM  
I'm in Nevada. I was laid off for five weeks. I filed each week and eventually got paid for two, long after I got my job back. With the extra $600 a week, it came out to like $2000. A couple of months ago, I got a letter saying I'd been overpaid and that I owed them $1500! I got paid out for my remaining vacation time and got paid an additional two weeks when I got laid off and I made sure to record all of that when I filed so the mistake was on their end. I haven't responded and they haven't sent any follow-ups yet. If it is going to mess with my credit, I'll have to pay them back.
 
2020-12-02 2:25:48 PM  
Trump and Kushner were given trucks of cash in the form of forgivable pandemic aid. They won't pay back a dollar.

But single Mom struggling to put food on the table? Give it back!!
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-12-02 2:27:07 PM  
"It definitely peaks my anxiety and is nerve-wracking," Whitmore said.

It piques my anxiety when "peaks my anxiety" gets past an editor.
 
2020-12-02 2:27:26 PM  

whidbey: Can't billionaires not be as billionairey for a couple of years?


Fark user image

Loeffler knows what it's like to wait on a paycheck.
 
2020-12-02 2:28:46 PM  

whidbey: Can't billionaires not be as billionairey for a couple of years?


When was unemployment removed from the government bureaucracy?
 
2020-12-02 2:29:10 PM  

lolmao500: Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.


My ex did that.  Then they took his federal tax return for a couple of years until it was paid off.  Freaked me out the first time and I had to file paperwork in order to get mine separated from his.
 
2020-12-02 2:31:00 PM  
I live on California. Due to combination of errors and uncertainty i got overpaid. I know I got overpaid. I want to return the money. But i can't until I get a letter. So I'm waiting for the damn letter, since receiving the overpayment all the way at the start of the pandemic.
 
2020-12-02 2:31:12 PM  
there's two people you never want to owe money to, the Government and Sears.
 
2020-12-02 2:37:28 PM  

jjorsett: cyberspacedout: "It definitely peaks my anxiety and is nerve-wracking," Whitmore said.

[Fark user image image 310x366]

At first glance this could be an error, but it does make sense in the context in which it's used so I'm going to allow it.


As a verb, peak is intransitive. It makes sense to say, "my anxiety peaks," but the guy being quoted could only have meant to say that it piques his anxiety - even if he didn't know the correct spelling himself.
 
2020-12-02 2:41:12 PM  
Most of these are identity issues. But they make it hard to clear it up. I order to verify your identity you need your social security card, which is interestingly the piece of ID the average person is least likely to have ready to go and takes the longest to procure a replacement for - if you even can. If you're unable to request a replacement card from SSA you're simply farked. Had it not been for my mom still living in the same house I grew up in I probably would not have passed the ID check to get one(in normal times it would be doable to show up in person at an office, I assume). The government frowns upon vagabondish lifestyles.

Then you have 5 days to upload it or they lock your account. Eventually they realized that this was happening so often they set up a separate portal where you could send it to the investigations office, as having an account locked after 5 days when it takes 3 weeks to get the card was shockingly resulting in a lot of people being considered to have collected fraudulently. I was able to clear mine up eventually, but I still lost weeks of the federal benefit that I really could have used.

Sometimes employers fark up and check one wrong box, and it's determined that you're ineligible based on your employer. Which is definitely BS in these times because the jobs are just gone. Even if someone was a crappy employee they still deserved to be able to feed themselves until the economy came back. Because my employment was split pretty evenly between 2 states I was barely even eligible to collect despite having worked hard most of the year.

But at least we don't live in a country with ineffective socialist government like Canada or Germany.
 
2020-12-02 2:42:56 PM  

lolmao500: Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.


I'm guessing that you have never had the pleasure of a 100% lien on your paychecks, once you started getting paychecks again. Better to start making $5.00 a month payments - The state will get its money! Speaking from experience...
 
2020-12-02 2:43:24 PM  

whidbey: Can't billionaires not be as billionairey for a couple of years?


Government agency makes a mistake. Obviously, this is the fault of people who have money, and not the government, who is infallible and always operates in our best interests.
 
2020-12-02 2:44:59 PM  
Sooner or later people are going to snap.
Governments throughout history have turned farking with their citizens into an art form, governments that endure know that you don't ever mess with their citizens stomach's, not if you want to die before your children do.
 
2020-12-02 2:45:07 PM  

jjorsett: When you owe the government money, it'll find a way to get it. Take it out of your tax refund, refuse to issue you a driver's license, whatever it takes. Look at what it does to people who owe child support if you want some examples.


Virginia just stopped that practice when someone finally figured out it was counter productive
 
2020-12-02 3:00:14 PM  

whidbey: Can't billionaires not be as billionairey for a couple of years?


Of course not -- then how would they ever become trillionaires?
Silly rabbit! money is for billionaires!

US billionaires' wealth grew by $845 billion during the first six months of the pandemic
https://outline.com/e3e5kZ
 
2020-12-02 3:11:03 PM  

FishSlap: "It definitely peaks my anxiety and is nerve-wracking," Whitmore said.

It piques my anxiety when "peaks my anxiety" gets past an editor.


Does it bring your anxiety to a peak?
 
2020-12-02 3:12:12 PM  

lolmao500: Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.



That's what my nephew is doing. He got a bill for 10 grand.
 
2020-12-02 3:14:51 PM  

drlcb: lolmao500: Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.

I'm guessing that you have never had the pleasure of a 100% lien on your paychecks, once you started getting paychecks again. Better to start making $5.00 a month payments - The state will get its money! Speaking from experience...


Almost any debt can be temporarily resolved by simply setting up an arrangement like this, be it 5 bucks or 20 bucks a month. It gets you breathing room at least.
 
2020-12-02 3:24:07 PM  

2farknfunny: there will be a lot more effort in getting money back from poor people than there will be getting money back from churches, think-tanks, and white-collar professionals who scooped up the free small business money even though the business was in no risk of failing.  You know, the same ones who have good solid banking relationships where the bankers did the paperwork for them.


Same way IRS audits have been conducted for decades now.
 
2020-12-02 3:25:06 PM  
There was a huge issue in Washington state (and probably other states too) with scammers illegally filing for unemployment with other people's info.  I wonder how many of the overpayments are related to that issue.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/​fraudsters-are-faking-washington-unemp​loyment-claims-amid-coronavirus-jobles​sness-surge/
 
2020-12-02 3:28:58 PM  

the_rhino: lolmao500: Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.

While I agree with your sentiment 100%, as wejash said above, the state will get theirs back one way or another.


Switch states then.  Problem solved.  Seriously
 
2020-12-02 3:33:43 PM  

Random Anonymous Blackmail: whidbey: Can't billionaires not be as billionairey for a couple of years?

When was unemployment removed from the government bureaucracy?


Lots of Governors are on that team.  Rick Scott for one literally personally dismantled Florida's unemployment insurance.  He also renamed it "re-employment"
 
2020-12-02 3:53:37 PM  

Turbo Cojones: the_rhino: lolmao500: Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.

While I agree with your sentiment 100%, as wejash said above, the state will get theirs back one way or another.

Switch states then.  Problem solved.  Seriously


If someone is unemployed and can't afford to pay back a paltry unemployment sum, do you honestly think they can just up and move on a whim like that?

/I'm sure I'm just feeding a troll, but whatever.
 
2020-12-02 4:07:25 PM  

the_rhino: Turbo Cojones: the_rhino: lolmao500: Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.

While I agree with your sentiment 100%, as wejash said above, the state will get theirs back one way or another.

Switch states then.  Problem solved.  Seriously

If someone is unemployed and can't afford to pay back a paltry unemployment sum, do you honestly think they can just up and move on a whim like that?

/I'm sure I'm just feeding a troll, but whatever.


A friend is in a similar situation.  AB5 took away her source of income (it basically outlawed contract work).  Then the plague hit.  If it weren't for AB5 she could be working.  She can't get any other job because no one is hiring.  She wants to move to another state so she could go back to her regular career (contract and medical document translations), but she can't afford to move, let alone have enough money to support herself while she rebuilds her client base.  Then she got a letter saying she was overpaid benefits and has to pay it back.  With what!?  She is broke.  If I wasn't helping her out she'd be homeless.
 
2020-12-02 4:43:48 PM  

lolmao500: Here's a solution : dont pay. Tell them to get farked.


Are there no prisons?  Are there no workhouses?
 
2020-12-02 4:57:27 PM  
WA ESD has turned into a shiatshow and they know it. They got scammed bigly, then they screwed up with the whole "you have five days to admit you owe us money or else" dumbness, and now asking for huge sums from unemployed people.

They demanded I return over $18000. In unemployment payments. That are gone. During a pandemic. And now the local media networks have picked up on it and are pointing out the incredible self-own of admitting their own incompetence, hypocrisy and callousness by doing that.

I don't think they thought their cunning plan all the way through.
 
2020-12-02 5:15:19 PM  

mrmopar5287: Nowhere in this article does it state that any of the people actually owe the money. It appears to be a glitch


MOPAR SUCKS.
 
2020-12-02 5:22:14 PM  
As someone who had to depend on UI Benefits for over a year, believe me when I tell you that yes, they will get it back from you, one way or another...and they absolutely WILL NOT ACCEPT "I'm still unemployed" as a reason why you're not able to repay them.

"Why can't you just get a loan?"

"ARE YOU FARKING DEAF? I'M STILL UNEMPLOYED! HOW IN THE FARK WOULD I PAY THAT BACK?!?!"

"That's your problem."

Yes, those motherfarkers at the Department Of Labor had the goddamned audacity to tell me that getting a loan, and figuring out how to pay it back, was "my problem", despite my not having a job.

I was so pissed...I nearly wept. Instead, I channed my fury into a soliloquy worthy of Rutger Hauer.

I can't recall exactly what I said, word for word (this was in 2004-2006), but the gist of it was this: 

"you motherfarkers don't have to worry about how you're going to put food on your table, or make your next car payment, or put clothes on your back, because you have a farking guaranteed job. Instead, you harass people WHO HAVE NO FARKING JOB into repaying all the benefits they have rightfully earned in one fell swoop, despite their not having a farking job. You assholes are worse than a farking collection agency. Fark you!"

I ended up having to repay the benefits anyway...thank God my folks took out a loan at our local credit union to get the state off my back.

I soon found a great-paying job after that...and I swore I'd never use the services of the Department of Labor, nor UI Benefits, ever again. Farking vultures.

/and yes, I paid my folks back for their generosity
 
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