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Deadline nears to certify for early pandemic unemployment benefits, some may owe EDD overpayment

People who received unemployment benefits in California earlier this year have until November 21 to retroactively certify for those weeks with EDD.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — An important deadline is coming for people who need to retroactively certify for unemployment benefits received early in the coronavirus pandemic. Some people may also end up needing to pay for the overpayment of benefits.

All retroactive certification applications must be submitted to California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) by November 21.

The EDD temporarily suspended the certification requirement for claims early in the pandemic, through the week ending May 9, 2020. The EDD called this “an emergency effort to help process a historically high number of unemployment claims.”

If you received benefit payments prior to May 9 and did not submit certification, you now need to provide a retroactive certification. This applies to both regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims.

The EDD said you may also need to retroactively certify “if you returned to work during this time and received benefits anyway due to this temporary waiving of the certification period.”

If you do not submit a retroactive certification, the EDD said it “will make a determination based on information available. If you were not eligible for benefits, you may receive a Notice of Overpayment and you must repay the EDD”

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How to retroactively certify

In order to retroactively certify, you need to fill out the retroactive certification application. It requires you to give EDD your:

  • Last name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number

After you fill out the application, EDD will determine if you were eligible for the benefits you received during the suspended period. If you were eligible, nothing else is needed.

If EDD finds you were not eligible for some of the money you were paid you will not be penalized for it, but you may be required to pay it back. The EDD will send you a Notice of Overpayment in the mail.

Some people may be eligible for an overpayment waiver. To be considered for the waiver, you will need to fill out a Personal Financial Statement. The EDD will include the form when they mail you the Notice of Overpayment. The EDD said it determines waiver eligibility based on “whether the recovery of an overpayment would cause extraordinary hardship by evaluating your average monthly family income for the last six months.”

If you do end up having to repay EDD, they do offer Benefit Overpayment Services. If you do not make your repayment, EDD can deduct the money from future unemployment of state disability benefits, as well as:

  • Reduce or withhold your federal and state income tax refunds
  • Reduce or withhold your state lottery winnings
  • Reduce or withhold other money the State owes you
  • File a claim against you in court
  • Charge you court costs and interest
  • Record a lien on your property

You can read more about overpayment and penalties here.

If you have a question about EDD or unemployment benefits, you can text it to our Dollars and Sense team at 916-321-3310.

WATCH MORE: When do unemployment extensions end? | Dollars and Sense