North Carolina

Unemployment: Unemployment Benefits - Overpayments

Authored By: Legal Aid of North Carolina LSC Funded

Quick Facts



1. No overpayment if received benefits pursuant to favorable decision by adjudicator which later is reversed by Appeals Referee or the Commission.

2. Overpayment if received benefits prior to adjudicator’s decision and then disqualified.

3. Overpayment if received benefits while ineligible. (Able/available issues)

4. Appeal or Waiver of Overpayment

a. You can appeal or request for a waiver.

i. No previous decision by adjudicator, ask for waiver if there was no fault causing overpayment.

ii. ESC error - ask for waiver.

b. The claimant must petition for the waiver 10 days after the date of the determination.

c. The petition shall be filed with the Assistant Unemployment Insurance Director for Benefits. It shall state the grounds for a waiver.

d. If claimant has appealed the overpayment has to submit the waiver after the decision on appeal becomes final.

e. The hearing will be limited to the matters set forth in the petition to show good cause for granting the petition.

5. The standard:

a. Collection of the overpayment would be against equity and good conscience.

b. Neither the claimant’s present economic circumstances nor his present ability to repay is material to the question of whether to waive an overpayment.



1. May appeal, but do not ask for waiver.

2. Appeal of disqualification and overpayment heard at the same hearing.

a. Standard:

i. Whether the party received benefits to which he/she was not entitled and;  

ii. Whether the party made a false statement or knowingly failed to disclose a material fact for the purpose of obtaining benefits.

b. If lose ESC hearing, you may appeal to the Commission, which may affirm, modify, or reverse the decision. Recommend to consult with a criminal attorney after losing the ESC hearing.

c. Substantial likelihood of referral to District Court Attorney.

d. If convicted, obtaining employment will be more difficult. Payment will be a condition of probation.

e. Ineligibility of benefits for 52 weeks.


If You Have Received a Determination of Overpayment from the Employment Security Commission (ESC)

ESC has recently determined that benefits have been improperly paid to unemployment benefits claimants receiving extended unemployment benefits. ESC has issued notices of overpayment to these claimants.

A notice of overpayment from ESC will tell you the amount of overpayment sought by ESC, the specific weeks overpaid and your appeal rights. It is very important to note the appeal deadline in the notice and to take action BEFORE the date to appeal expires.

You can appeal the reason for the overpayment if you believe that you do not owe the overpayment. File your appeal in person at the local ESC Office.

Even if you owe the money you can request that ESC waive or forgive in whole or in part the overpayment if the payment of benefits was made without fault on your part. ESC can waive or forgive an overpayment if you are not at fault in obtaining the payments.

To obtain a waiver of an overpayment you must make a request for waiver by completing an ESC form and filing the request in person at the local ESC office.


A Request for Waiver must be filed on or before the appeal deadline shown in the Notice of Overpayment

Your Request for Waiver should specify the following:

1. The payment of benefits was made without fault on your part.

2. That requiring recovery of the overpayment is unjust (against equity and good conscience).

The attached detailed information should be included in your Request for Waiver.

Keep a copy of the date-stamped Request for Waiver that you have filed with the local ESC office.


Information to Provide with the Request of Waiver

1. The overpayment is not my fault. I filed my claim and received benefits from ______________ (first week of overpayment) to__________ (last week of overpayment) based on the instructions from the Employment Security Commission.

2. Recovery of the overpayment will cause financial hardship to me because:

(a) I have no income or very limited income. My monthly income is $_____________. I have _______ dependents. (indicate children, spouse)

(b) I have no job prospects.

(c) My present income is necessary to maintain necessities such as food, medicine and shelter for me and my family.  



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