Overpaid by IDES? Illinois allows unemployed to apply for waiver to keep money

CHICAGO (WLS) -- If you were overpaid on unemployment benefits from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), you may not have to pay that money back. There is new legislation that can help those who were on the hook.

Around $123 million of regular state benefits were overpaid to 76,000 residents. But if you're one of those residents, you may be able to now keep the cash.

The I-Team has reported for nearly a year about unemployed Illinoisans panicked because the Illinois Department of Employment Security informed them that they must reimburse the state for unemployment overpayments.

Governor JB Pritzker signed a law last week waiving reimbursement for overpayments of regular state unemployment funds.

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Those who received letters from IDES stating they were overpaid state unemployment, must first find out if they are eligible for the waiver. The state agency is working on the system that would decide eligibility on a case by case basis.

If you qualify, you will not have to reimburse the state for that overpayment of state unemployment money.

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Earlier this year, the I-Team reported on new federal legislation which forgave overpayments of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, which is a federal unemployment fund.

There is a catch, however, on the state law: if you've already started repaying the state for unemployment, IDES cannot refund you. But those who've repaid PUA federal overpayments can be refunded, according to that federal law.

One requirement for eligibility is that the overpayments had to take place between March 8, 2020 and the end of the state's disaster proclamation.

To find out if you qualify, visit IDES Benefit Overpayment Information.
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