Working part-time or odd jobs while receiving unemployment benefits is allowed, and even encouraged, but make sure you report the money you earn each week when filing your weekly claim.
Failing to accurately report this and other requested critical information to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) may result in an overpayment, which can have serious consequences.
An overpayment occurs when you receive unemployment insurance benefits that you are not eligible for. DEW classifies overpayments of unemployment benefits into two categories: fraudulent overpayments and non-fraudulent overpayments.
Non-fraudulent overpayments happen when you receive benefits you are not entitled to, but receiving those benefits is not because you knowingly gave false information or withheld information. Though unintentional, non-fraudulent overpayments must be repaid to DEW.
Fraudulent overpayments occur when you receive benefits you are not entitled to because you knowingly provided false information or withheld information. Fraudulent overpayments are a serious offense that can result in criminal prosecution. Fraudulent overpayments must be repaid along with a penalty fee of 25 percent. You are also disqualified from receiving future benefits for between 10 and 52 weeks. To read more about preventing, reporting and the consequences of fraud, click here.
If you do not repay the overpayment debt once you have been notified of an overpayment, DEW takes many actions to recover the debt including:
- Withholding your wages if you are currently employed
- Deducting the money owed from your federal and/or state income tax refunds
- Deducting your debt from any other money owed to you by the state
You can avoid alternative collection methods by either repaying the debt in full or establishing and maintaining a monthly payment plan. After receiving a Notice of Overpayment of Benefits, take immediate action by calling the Overpayment Unit at 803.737.2490.
Reporting accurate information and receiving only the money you are qualified to collect prevents potential fraud prosecution and will ultimately ensure the unemployment benefits program’s overall integrity.
For more information on overpayments, visit dew.sc.gov/overpayments.