The SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is making it easier than ever for unemployment insurance (UI) claimants to pay back debt.
In addition to submitting by mail and automatic draft, claimants may now use the online payment portal via MyBenefits. You may pay with a debit card, credit card or an electronic check.
Click here for a step-by-step guide
An improper payment occurs when someone receives UI benefits that he or she is not eligible for.
If a person has been overpaid for UI benefits, whether fraudulent or non-fraudulent, he or she must repay the debt to DEW or risk the following penalties:
- Withholding of wages if currently employed
- Deducting the money owed from federal and/or state income tax refunds
- Deducting debt from any other money owed by the state
Alternative collection methods can be avoided by either repaying the debt in full or establishing and maintaining a monthly payment plan. After receiving a Notice of Overpayment of Benefits, you should immediate action should be taken by calling DEW’s Overpayment Unit at 803.737.2490.
In recent years, DEW’s fraud prevention and detection efforts have dramatically decreased the number of improper payments being made. In 2012, the agency implemented a software system that compares wage data against unemployment data to detect potential conflicts. For example, it can detect if a person who is filing weekly claims is actually earning wages and working.
This process helps DEW better detect both fraud and non-fraud overpayments, identifies the potential fraud sooner, flags the claim and stops payments. With quicker identification, DEW is able to both recoup fraudulent improper payments sooner and prosecute more fraud cases.
DEW has also improved its detection capability by reducing the claims’ audit time frame by 50 percent.
The quicker detection processes have:
- Reduced the number of potentially fraudulent weeks claimed by 30 percent,
- Decreased the average amount paid per potentially fraudulent case by 30 percent, and
- Significantly reduced the average number of fraud cases per quarter by 50 percent.
The new online payment portal is just another step towards efficiency and DEW’s goal of improved improper payment detection, prevention and recovery.
For more information about improper payments and fraud prevention, visit dew.sc.gov/overpayments.