Texas Workforce Overpaid $215 Million in Benefits, Wants Money Back
The Texas Workforce Commission made a bit of a mistake. A mistake to the tune of $215 million. Even though it's not looking to get the money back right away, they are still going to come for their money. Tens of thousands of folks in the state of Texas received extra benefits they weren't supposed to receive because of an error by the Texas Workforce Commission, and the TWC has sent out over 260,000 notices to Texans, letting them know they erroneously received a payment they shouldn't have and they need to be prepared to pay it back.
The Texas Workforce Commission Communications Director James Bernsen said:
Essentially, we’re asking them to pay us back when they can.
Bernsen went on to say that this was an innocent mistake made by the commission because they were rushing to get checks out to people as quickly as they could. But this isn't anything new to the Texas Workforce Commission Last year, they sent out 238,000 notices, but since there weren't as many people applying and receiving unemployment last year, the TWC only overpaid by $73 million.
Normally if there's an overpayment, the Texas Workforce Commission garnishes any future checks until the overpayment is balanced out. But with the state of the economy and so many people out of work, the Commission says they have suspended that rule. Bernsen said:
We want to make sure that they get their bills paid. Use that money for what it was intended for: to get back on their feet.
If it's found that the overpayment is a result of fraud though, that's a different story. They're coming for that money. But if it's an honest mistake from a human error, they're being far more lenient.