RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Employment Commission is resuming efforts to collect what it says is nearly $860 million in overpayments that went to hundreds of thousands of out-of-work residents.
The agency announced its intentions Friday, just after an overpayment waiver provision the General Assembly enacted in 2021 expired.
During the waiver period, VEC approved 23,310 overpayment waivers, forgiving over $80 million in payments for eligible customers who did not commit fraud and were overpaid through no fault of their own, the agency said in a news release.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the VEC is now trying to collect more than $859 million in overpayments made in 366,308 cases since the start of the pandemic. Those figures don't reflect incorrect payments due to fraud.
The VEC said customers who have been overpaid will receive an “overpayment billing statement” that will include instructions on making payments. The agency also said customers who do not enter into a repayment plan will be referred to collections.
However, if customers have a pending waiver or appeal, they will not be referred to billing and collections until “all other options have been pursued," the news release said.