03-10-2010 11:15 AM - edited 03-10-2010 11:17 AM
Anyone who saw my post yesterday regarding paying off all of my debt/collection accounts may have seen the last section where I mentioned an unknown tax lien that was showing up on my CR. Well today I was able to get through to the state of New Jersey on the phone without having to go through a lengthy mail in process - and they told me that they have a record of overpaid unemployment dating back to 2004 in the amount of $5800 in my name!
In late 2003 the company I had worked for for over 13 years went out of business - it was a family owned retail store. My employer closed the retail store and moved out of state to Arizona to begin a new life with his family. Initially I remember when I tried to get unemployment benefits, there was an issue and some sort of issue with my right to claim being contested and I was denied. My employer denied making a claim that I was not entitled (he was the one who gave me the info to collect!) and after a few weeks of phone interviews and an lengthy approval process I was approved and began receiving checks. I have had several friends/family member automatically denied benefits on the first try for no reason - and it seems to me that perhaps the state of NJ does this with the hopes of some losing faith and giving up.
Anyway, from what the person on the phone said, it looks like the state tried to contact my former employer at some point regarding my benefits and had no forwarding address or contact info. I eventually stopped receiving benefits (on schedule) with no mention of overpayment - I had not worked or received a W2 for any other employer at all during that time I wa scollecting. How can unemployment claim that I owe them when I was not working and collecting a paycheck? Is anyone familiar with the process and the reason WHY they may be holding this against me? Is my former employer supposed to be "reachable" during the time I am collecting for some sort of continuing verification process? I wonder WHY it took them so long (until 2007) to put this on my CR? I hope they do not make me pay this but I have to get it off my report... Supposedly an investigator is going to call me back. They asked for my new address and phone - but wouldn't they have had that from my Social all these year later??? SO many questions - and wondering how easy this will be to clear up quickly without having to pay or pay with some sort of settlement agreement.
03-10-2010 02:38 PM
What they mean is that at some point they determined that you were not eligible for the unemployment compensation that you received and they want you to pay them back the benefits. Unemployment will approve your claim (at least in Illinois I have seen it) and then if they decide later that there was a misrepresentation or simply an error on your part, their part, or the invisible man's part, they will insist that you repay the benefits that you received.
It sounds like they may have contacted your former employer and were unable to reach him thereby unable to verify your eligibility for the benefits but they had already paid them to you so they want you to pay them back. Was $5800 the total amount of unemployment benefits paid to you?
03-10-2010 03:02 PM - edited 03-10-2010 03:04 PM
I spoke with an investigator from the state of NJ earlier - \
Basically, when the business closed, my former employer must have transposed a number or made an error on the documents for my unemployment and another business that was completely completely unrelated that I had never heard of was attached to my work history in addition to my ex-boss. A trucking company. I vaguely remember calling unemployment and having to sort this out - this was the reason why I was denied unemployment benefits at first because when I went to claim benefits, they denied and this other employer contested - and rightfully so... Once it got straightened out, they removed the other employer BUTTTT subsequently split the 25 weeks I would quality for in half down to just 13 with my ex-employer. It must've been in their system as a 50/50 shared employer so when one was removed, the other's attachment to me was half of the 25 weeks I was entitled to. They paid me for 25 weeks and never a problem but somewhere later down the road viewed my info and deemed I was only employed for 13 weeks between October 2002 and Sept. 2004 in my previous position. This is absolutely untrue - I was working at least 55hrs per week that entire year as a manager for that store with no lapse.
Long story even longer... I remembered the accountant we used and called their office today. They are going to search their basement files for my W2s for 2002 and 2003 - I don't have them nor do I have old pay stubs (mom always said make sure you save everything for 8 yrs! and she was right!).
I have to file an appeal and wait 6-8 weeks for a letter stating the date of a telephone hearing so that I can explain the situation and fax all of the documents, W2s and possibly a statement from my former boss that I worked for him during that time as a full time employee. He is a real tightwad and I can see calling him and explaining the situation - he will fear that they didn't charge HIM for my continuing benefits and will probably be upset that he will be liable.