- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
Furloughed federal workers must return unemployment pay
Most federal employees who filed for unemployment compensation while they were furloughed are being asked to pay that money back, now that Congress and President Obama have agreed to pay all of those workers for their time off.
Beginning after Oct. 1, when the shutdown started, applications for unemployment compensation flowed in across the country. That included thousands in Maryland, the District and Virginia, which have a particularly high concentration of federal employees.
And despite the relatively short 16-day shutdown, at least some employees have already gotten unemployment money.
D.C. officials said they paid 1,700 furloughed workers already. Virginia said it had at least 6,000 applicants and Maryland reported about 20,000 claims, though both states were still checking to see how many of those claims had begun to receive payments.
But with the shutdown over and Congress' decision to pay furloughed workers for their time off, the states are now asking for the money back.
"Benefit overpayments should be repaid as soon as possible, and payment plans can be arranged. Interest on the debt can be negotiated," said Maureen O'Connor, spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
That's not true everywhere. Fox News reported that Oregon is letting workers keep their unemployment benefits, meaning they'd getting paid twice for time they never worked.
Several other states have similar laws.
The federal Labor Department is preparing to issue guidance to those states that do reclaim the money, and Ms. O'Connor said Maryland is waiting on those guidelines before finalizing its own procedures.
Joyce Fogg, spokeswoman for the Virginia Employment Commission, said the agency will be able to track down federal employees who got benefits.
"We know — it's like any other overpayment," she said. "They'll be notified by letter that this is an overpayment and they'll have to repay it."
Workers likely only got a single payment, at most, since there's a one-week waiting period at the beginning and the shutdown lasted little more than two weeks. Ms. Fogg said it should be relatively easy to repay, since the maximum amount a Virginia worker got was $370.
Maryland said its unemployment benefits are paid by debit card while Virginia pays by card or direct deposit.
Maryland said it cannot recapture funds from its debit card once they are loaded on there. Officials in Virginia and the District said as long as workers didn't touch the money, they can retract it.
The District gives workers 60 days to pay the money back by check or money order or to establish a repayment plan. After six months, the city has the ability to garnish wages.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
- Wind farms: Interior Department sacrifices eagle protection for alternative energy
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bipartisan House votes against 'patent trolls' who file lawsuits against innovators
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuclear umbrella
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia tries to rein in former Soviet satellites
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- American missing in Iran was CIA operative who went rogue - Washington Times#pagebreak#pagebreak
- Medicare pays full price for half-empty vials of medicine
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow