Changes Due to COVID-19

Important! Beginning May 30, 2021, programming is now in place which allows TWC to resume using your weekly benefit payment to repay your overpayment (called “offsetting”). Offsetting of benefits to recoup overpayments, such as those from the CARES programs, is required by Federal law. TWC cannot make exceptions to these requirements.

Although we will be collecting overpayments from your weekly benefit amount (WBA), we will not use the entire WBA at this time. Instead, we will use only 50 percent of your WBA, unless otherwise required. We will collect overpayments from claims for regular benefits, Extended Benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA), and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) / Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).  TWC suspended the absorption and offset of regular state benefits to repay an overpayment of regular state benefits on March 30, 2020, through May 30, 2021. This means, if you were eligible for benefits during that time, you received the payment instead of the payment being used to repay your overpayment.

If you received an overpayment notice for a claim you did not file, you should report the ID theft using TWC’s online portal. Once TWC confirms that a claim was filed using a stolen ID, the individual named on the claim is not responsible for any overpayment. See the Identity Theft page for more information.

Collection through the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) was suspended from March 23, 2020, through January 31, 2021. If your overpayment is eligible for collection through TOP, you will receive a notice and will be given 60 days to start a payment plan before your debt is referred to TOP for collection. If you previously received a TOP notice and have not repaid the overpayment, your tax refund may be offset to repay the debt. See the Treasury Offset Program Collection section for more details.

Because state law prohibits the State of Texas from making certain payments to parties with debts to the state, collection through the Comptroller warrant hold program is still in effect. If you have an overpayment, payments such as lottery winnings, unclaimed property, and other amounts paid by the Comptroller may be affected by this debt. The Comptroller will send you a notice when such a payment is withheld.

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Overview

An overpayment is caused when TWC pays unemployment benefits that you were not eligible to receive. State law requires TWC to recover all unemployment benefits overpayments.

There is no statute of limitations on debts owed to the state. TWC cannot forgive or dismiss the overpayment and there is no exception for hardship.

Overpayments stay on your record until repaid. You must repay those benefits even if the overpayment was not your fault. We cannot pay you benefits if you have an overpayment.

If we determine that the overpayment is unemployment fraud, you must repay the benefits you were not eligible for, plus a 15 percent penalty on the benefits you incorrectly received. For more information, see Unemployment Benefits Fraud.

Causes of Overpayments

  • Not reporting earnings or reporting incorrect earnings when requesting benefit payments
  • Correction of wage errors resulting in a lower benefit amount than initially determined because the wage history we used to establish your claim included errors or belonged to another individual
  • Providing incorrect or false information about your job separation or work search when you applied for benefits or requested payment
  • Having an appeals ruling reverse your eligibility after TWC paid you benefits
  • Not participating in Reemployment Services or other job assistance programs with Workforce Solutions when required
  • Not registering with WorkInTexas.com or with your local One-Stop Career Center if residing outside of Texas
  • Committing fraud

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Impact on Current Benefits

State law requires that you repay your overpayment before we can pay further unemployment benefits. TWC cannot dismiss or forgive an overpayment, and there is no exception in the law for hardship cases. If you are requesting unemployment benefits, we recommend that you continue to submit biweekly payment requests so we can apply each eligible payment toward the overpayment until it is repaid.

Overpayments From Another State

If you have an overpayment of unemployment benefits in another state, that state may request that we send your Texas benefits to them until your overpayment is paid. If the overpayment from another state is collectable by Texas, we will notify you. Continue to submit biweekly payment requests so we can apply each eligible payment toward the overpayment. After you repay the overpayment, we will release any remaining payable benefits to you, as long as you are still requesting payment.

Unemployment Benefits From Another State

If you have an overpayment in Texas and receive unemployment benefits from another state, we can ask that state to recover the money for us. The other state will send your benefits to TWC to repay your overpayment, as allowed by the laws of the other state.

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Notification

If you have an overpayment, we mail you a Determination on Payment of Unemployment Benefits letter explaining the reason for your overpayment, what weeks were overpaid, and the amount of money you must repay.

Within 30 days of the date we determine that you have an overpayment, we mail a Statement of Overpaid Unemployment Benefit Account (billing statement), with instructions on how to repay the overpayment. Approximately 30 days later, we mail a second billing statement with a repayment schedule, unless your case is being prosecuted.

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Appeals

You may appeal any TWC determination that says we cannot pay you benefits or you have an overpayment.  For appeal information, see your Determination on Payment of Unemployment Benefits or our Introduction to Unemployment Benefits Appeals page.

Repayment During an Appeal

If you are requesting benefits, we will apply each eligible payment toward reducing your overpayment. If the appeal decision reverses or changes the overpayment amount, we will adjust the overpayment, as needed.

If you are not requesting benefits, you are not required to send payments during the appeal process. If the appeal decision upholds the overpayment, you must begin repaying the overpayment. If TWC reverses or changes the overpayment amount, we will adjust the overpayment as needed.

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Billing Statements

We will send you monthly billing statements as long as you consistently make payments. If we do not receive repayment or speak with you within 30 days of mailing your second billing statement, we will not continue to mail billing statements. However, the overpayment stays on your claim record and state law requires that we continue to take action to recover the overpayment until repaid.

Billing Statements for Multiple Claims

If you have overpayments on multiple claims, we send a separate billing statement for each claim. We cannot provide a combined statement.  However, you may add the amounts together and pay with one check each month.

Overpayments from Past Unemployment Periods

You may receive an overpayment billing statement even if you have not applied for unemployment benefits recently.  The Texas Constitution requires that all debts owed to the state be repaid, with no statute of limitations.

When we receive updated information, we mail a billing statement as a reminder to pay the debt. For example, when an employer reports hiring you for a new job, we mail you a statement as a reminder about the overpayment.

Overpayment Notice on ID Theft Claims

If you receive a “Statement of Overpaid Unemployment Benefits Account” (overpayment notice) for an unemployment benefits claim that you did not file, you should report the ID theft claim on TWC’s online Fraud Submission portal. See Unemployment Benefits ID Theft for more information. 

Once TWC confirms that a claim was filed using a stolen ID, the individual named on the claim is not responsible for any overpayment and the employer’s tax rate or reimbursement is not affected. Once ID theft is confirmed, any future overpayment statements will be suspended. However, you may continue to receive billing statements while the investigation is ongoing.

You do not need to respond to these statements.

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Repayment

It is important to promptly repay an overpayment because:

  • The overpayment stays on your claim record until you repay it in full.
  • If you apply for benefits,TWC will apply each eligible payment toward reducing your overpayment until the overpayment is repaid.
  • The Texas State Comptroller can recover your overpayment by withholding certain payments to you. That means the state cannot pay you lottery winnings, unclaimed property, unemployment benefits, or state job-related expenses, except for wages, until you repay the overpayment in full.
  • Some state funding for college students cannot be released until you repay the overpayment in full.

Repayment if Requesting Benefits

If you are requesting benefits, TWC will apply each eligible weekly benefit payment toward repaying your overpayment until it is repaid.

NOTE: As of May 30, 2021, TWC will use only 50 percent of a claimant’s weekly benefit amount (WBA) to repay their overpayment, unless otherwise required by law. For example: if a claimant’s weekly benefit is $324, they will receive $162 per week and $162 will be applied to the overpayment, until paid in full.

If you previously established a repayment schedule, we will cancel the repayment arrangements you made before beginning your claim if we are offsetting all or part of your weekly benefit amount to repay the overpayment. If desired, you can make additional payments directly to TWC to repay your overpayment debt sooner. We are not able to change the amount that is offset from your benefits.

Repayment Schedule

If you cannot repay the entire overpayment amount at once, a payment schedule is provided on the Statement of Overpaid Benefits Account notice that TWC sends to you. You do not need to contact TWC for the repayment schedule to take effect. To start payment under the schedule, submit the amount shown in the Minimum Payment Due section of the form. 

If you cannot repay the Minimum Payment amount, contact TWC to request a revised repayment schedule. If your overpayment meets certain criteria, we may be able to adjust the minimum payment. See Contact Information below.

If you are filing for unemployment benefits, TWC will use each eligible weekly payment to repay your overpayment, called offsetting. Benefits will continue to be offset as long as an overpayment exists, regardless of the payment schedule.

Making Payments

You may repay your overpayment by mailing a check or money order payable to TWC. To ensure proper credit, include on your check or money order your name, last four digits of your Social Security number, and the account number shown on your billing statement. To request a receipt, contact Benefits Overpayment Collections at 512-936-3338. Note: We cannot accept payment online, or by phone, debit card, credit card or electronic check.

Online Bill Pay

Although TWC does not offer online payments, many banks and credit unions offer online bill pay to their customers. If your bank or credit union offers this service, you may be able to set up bill pay for a one-time payment or monthly payments. Each bank or credit union will have its own rules, but generally, you will log into your bank’s bill pay platform and enter TWC’s payment address (shown below) and your TWC account number, which is provided on the TWC billing statement sent to you. You choose when to send the payment and select the payment amount. Any fees are controlled by your bank or credit union and are not associated with TWC.

Payment Address

Mail your check or money order (payable to TWC) to:

TWC Revenue & Trust Management
P.O. Box 149352
Austin, TX 78714-9352

Notice of State Payment Held (Warrant Hold)

A Notice of State Payment Held is a letter the Texas State Comptroller sends to notify you when they recover an unemployment benefits overpayment by withholding certain payments to you, such as lottery winnings.  This is also called a warrant hold.

The state cannot pay you unclaimed property, lottery winnings, unemployment benefits, or state job-related expenses until you repay the benefits overpayment in full. For example, if you have a Texas state government job and turn in travel expenses, the Comptroller sends your travel reimbursement payment(s) to TWC to repay your overpayment.

To pay off your overpayment faster, complete the Voluntary Offset on the back of your Notice of State Payment Held letter and send it to the State Comptroller as instructed.  If the warrant amount exceeds the overpayment debt, the Voluntary Offset also will allow the Comptroller to speed up the processing of the balance to be paid to you.

For information on how to provide full payment to TWC to release a Comptroller’s payment hold, call Benefit Overpayment Collections at 512-936-3338.

Abstract of Assessment

If an overpayment meets certain criteria, TWC may file an Abstract of Assessment in the county of record. An Abstract of Assessment, similar to a property lien, has the effect of a civil suit. If you are served with an Assessment and do not agree with the overpayment, you or your attorney may file a Notice of Judicial Review with the District Court of the respective county.

To request the payoff amount for your overpayment, send a fax to Benefit Overpayment Collections at 512-936-3799. Include the reason for your request and a copy of the Abstract of Assessment.

For information on how to pay off your overpayment to release the Abstract of Assessment, call Benefit Overpayment Collections at 512-936-3338.

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Treasury Offset Program Collection

If you have an overpayment of unemployment benefits, and have not repaid that debt, your federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax refunds may be subject to reduction by the overpaid amount.

The Treasury Offset Program (TOP) is a federal program that collects past due debts owed to federal and state agencies by capturing IRS tax refunds to offset these debts. TWC issues letters to former unemployment benefit claimants who have debts that are subject to collection through TOP.

Federal law requires TWC to collect specific types of unemployment benefit debt from both claimants and employers.  Claimants with an overpayment caused by incorrectly reported earnings, fraud and fraud penalties are subject to TOP

Collection through TOP is only initiated after an overpayment determination is final and other collection notices have failed.  If you have an overpayment that is subject to TOP, TWC will mail a letter showing the amount you owe, along with instructions on how to avoid referral to collection. You must complete one of the following actions within 60 days of the mail date of the letter to avoid collection through TOP:

  • Submit full payment of the amount indicated
  • Enter into a six-month repayment plan and submit the first monthly payment
  • Submit documentation showing that you have paid the debt in full
  • Submit documentation explaining why the amount is not subject to TOP referral, such as a bankruptcy ruling

Send payment or documentation to:

TOP Overpayment Collections
PO Box 149007
Austin,  TX  78714-9007

As part of the TOP collection process, TWC is required to notify you of our intent to refer the debt to TOP for collection 60 days before referral in order to give you the opportunity to either make payment arrangements or explain why the debt should not be considered subject to TOP collection.  Receiving a Notice of Intent to Offset letter does not give you an additional opportunity to appeal the original decision that caused the overpayment.  If you have already paid the amount in question or have addressed the debt in a bankruptcy filing, you will need to provide information regarding these actions.

For additional information on TOP, you can review the Bureau of the Fiscal Service websites:

For laws relating to TOP you can visit:

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Change of Address

We mail important documents to the most recent address we have for you. Be sure to change your address as needed, so that you will receive all documents.

If you lost or did not receive documents we mailed to you, see TWC Open Records for instructions on requesting copies.

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Bankruptcy

If you filed for bankruptcy, call 512-936-3338 and provide your case number and date of the bankruptcy filing. We will verify your bankruptcy status and add that information to your account.

While a bankruptcy case is active, we will temporarily stop overpayment recovery actions. If your overpayment debt is discharged in bankruptcy, we will permanently stop all recovery of benefits. If the bankruptcy is dismissed, your repayment obligation continues and we will resume overpayment recovery.

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Deceased Claimant

If a claimant with an overpayment dies, the person managing the deceased person’s affairs should mail or fax a copy of the death certificate to TWC. The death certificate does not need to be certified. If there is a Texas State Comptroller’s payment hold on the deceased claimant’s account, we will request that the overpayment be repaid using funds from a probated estate and funds payable under the deceased claimant’s Social Security number.

  • Mail:
    TWC Benefit Overpayment Collections
    101 E. 15th St, Rm 556
    Austin, TX 78778-0001
  • Fax: 512-936-3799

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Contact Information

Please read the information on Before Contacting the Benefits Overpayment Collections Unit for assistance. 

IDENTITY THEFT CLAIMS

If you are not claiming unemployment benefits and have information that a claim was filed using your identity, you should report the ID theft claim on TWC’s online Fraud Submission portal. If you receive a “Statement of Overpaid Unemployment Benefits Account” (overpayment notice) for an unemployment benefits claim that you did not file, you should report the ID theft claim on TWC’s online portal. Once TWC confirms that a claim was filed using a stolen ID, the individual named on the claim is not responsible for any overpayment and the employer’s tax rate or reimbursement is not affected. Once ID theft is confirmed, any future overpayment statements will be suspended. However, you may continue to receive billing statements while the investigation is ongoing. You do not need to respond to these statements. See Unemployment Benefits ID Theft for more information. 

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS QUESTIONS

For all questions or assistance with your unemployment benefits claim, contact the Unemployment Benefits department. This includes:

  • To discuss the reason for an overpayment
  • If you are concerned your benefit payment is incorrect and wish to discuss whether you were overpaid
  • To make changes to your claim, correct an error, or provide new information
  • To ask questions or get information about your unemployment claim

Phone:  800-939-6631
Email: ui.ombudsmen@twc.state.tx.us

COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT

The Collections department is able to help when you are ready to repay your overpayment. However, we are not able to make changes to your claim if you disagree with the overpayment. If you wish to discuss the reason for the overpayment, you must contact the Unemployment Benefits department for questions about your claim. 

If you have an overpayment, you may repay it by mailing a check or money order to TWC, or by setting up an online payment through your bank or credit union. Beginning in September, TWC will offer other online options to make repayments.

If you cannot repay the entire amount, a payment schedule will be provided with your overpayment notice. To start payment under the schedule, submit the payment in response to the notice you receive. Benefits will continue to be offset as long as an overpayment exists, regardless of the payment schedule.

You do not need to contact TWC for the repayment schedule to take effect.  

Contact the Collections department for questions about repaying the overpayment, such as requesting a change to the payment schedule, the balance of your overpayment, warrant holds, a TOP notice, or a Notice of Assessment.

Mail: Benefit Overpayment Collections
Texas Workforce Commission
101 E 15th St, Rm 556
Austin, TX 78778
Phone: 512-936-3338
Fax: 512-936-3799
Email: special.colloverpay@twc.state.tx.us  - Please use this email address only for questions about repaying the overpayment. To discuss why you were overpaid, make corrections to your claim, or any other questions about your claim, please contact the Unemployment department  at ui.ombudsmen@twc.state.tx.us.

NOTICE OF POTENTIAL OVERPAYMENT
If you received a Notice of Potential Overpayment letter asking you to contact the Benefit Payment Control (BPC) department, please contact them for assistance. The Collections department is not able to assist with correcting earnings on a claim. If you are unable to reach the BPC department, or need additional help, contact the Unemployment department at ui.ombudsmen@twc.state.tx.us.
Phone: 800-950-3592

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Payment Address

TWC Revenue & Trust Management
P.O. Box 149352
Austin, TX 78714-9352

We cannot accept payment online, by phone, debit card, credit card, or electronic check.

Report ID Theft

If you are not claiming unemployment benefits and have information that a claim was filed using your identity, you should report the ID theft claim on TWC’s online portal. Go to Unemployment Benefits ID Theft for more information.

Report ID Theft