A percentage of unemployed New Yorkers who received benefits from the state last year were "overpaid," and those impacted are now being told by the state's Department of Labor to repay those funds.
The state said a "small" number of those receiving weekly unemployment funds were issued double payments last spring when an unprecedented volume of New Yorkers required unemployment assistance following the state's shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“In April and May of 2020, a small portion of claimants received duplicate payments as NYS DOL worked to get New Yorkers their benefits as quickly as possible,” the NYS DOL tweeted out Friday.
The Labor Department said it was required under federal law to recover those funds. Letters will be sent to the New Yorkers who were overpaid to notify them of the payment error and instruct them on how to submit a waiver to forgive the funds, if applicable.
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The waiver application will be available online starting April 23 at 12 p.m., the department said.
"Unless you file a timely request for a hearing or waiver, NYS DOL will begin recovering payments from your benefits after 30 days. All unemployment benefits will be reduced by 20% until the overpaid funds are recovered," the NYS DOL warned in its final tweet on the matter.
Gothamist reported the extra funds were associated with $600 directed to unemployment beneficiaries in early April, and that Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the payments were to be reimbursed by the federal government.
It wasn't immediately clear the full extent of the payment error -- either the number of people involved or the total amounts expected to be repaid.
The New York State Department of Labor has more details on its waiver application and appeal process posted to its website.