For Immediate Release
March 1, 2013
Attorney Richard Lavers
CONCORD-New Hampshire Employment Security (NHES) collected over $1.2 million in overpaid unemployment benefits by offsetting Federal Income Tax refunds in the month of February. These overpayments are the result of individuals failing to report earnings while collecting unemployment benefits. NHES officially started participating in the U.S. Treasury’s program to offset Federal Income Tax refunds October 1, 2012.
NHES Commissioner George Copadis applauded the recent success of more aggressive efforts to collect these debts stating, "This is great news for the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund; great news for New Hampshire employers whose taxes support the unemployment compensation system; and great news for those honest, hard working individuals unemployed through no fault of their own that rely on benefits being available. This should serve as an example and deterrent to those considering unemployment fraud that you will get caught and we will recover the fraudulent payments together with interest and penalties, thus making this a very costly decision."
NHES has submitted over $10.6 million in overpayment debt to the U.S. Treasury for offset and expects to submit a total of $11.6 million during this current tax filing season. The vast majority (96%) of the debt submitted is for unemployment benefits paid as a result of fraud where individuals willfully misrepresented earnings to the Department and as a result the Department paid out unemployment benefits while the individual was working.
New Hampshire is one of 28 states currently participating in the U.S. Treasury's debt collection program whereby state UI agencies are able to submit overpayment debt for offset against a debtor’s Federal Income Tax refund.
Fraud overpayments are created when a person filing for unemployment compensation benefits fails to disclose work and earnings, despite being asked by the Department, in order to maintain eligibility or increase the amount of their weekly unemployment benefits. The Department then investigates reports of such incidents, allows the claimant the opportunity to explain the failure to report work and earnings and then issues a determination.
For additional information please contact Attorney Richard Lavers (603) 228-4062 at New Hampshire Employment Security.