Texas Requires 46,000 People to Return $ 32 Million in Overpaid Unemployment Benefits

A Texas state agency is reportedly seeking payments from thousands of state residents who lost their jobs in the past few months after authorities discovered that 46,000 people were overpaid for unemployment benefits.

The agency estimates it overpaid unemployment benefits to claimants by $ 32 million, the Houston Chronicle first reported Monday.

Cisco Gamez, spokesman for the Texas Workforce Commission, told The Texas Tribune in an email that state law requires the commission “to recover all overpayments from unemployment benefits.”

“Overpayments remain on your record until they are paid,” Gamez said.

People who received overpaid benefits must pay them even if it wasn’t their fault, according to the agency’s website, which states that you cannot pay more benefits to residents who have overpaid.

If the agency determines that the overpayment is unemployment fraud, a person is required to reimburse you plus a 15 percent penalty for benefits you incorrectly received, according to the agency’s website.

The agency also says there is no statute of limitations on debt to the state.

According to the Texas Tribune, about 2.7 million Texans applied for unemployment aid between mid-March and the end of last month.

An official with the Texas Workforce Commission was not immediately available for comment.