I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.
Under CA unemployment regulations, when you knowingly give false information or withhold information and receive benefits that you should not have received, this not only can result in criminal prosecution, but with fraud you are assessed a penalty in the amount of 30 percent of the amount of the overpayment and a false statement disqualification of as much as a year. Fraud overpayments and penalties must be repaid under the law.
To request an appeal, you must send a Request for Appeal letter to the EDD within 20 days of the mailing date of the Notice of Overpayment. The mailing date can be found in the upper right hand corner of the first page of the Notice. The address you need to send the appeal letter is also on the Notice.
Your letter needs to include your current contact information, your Social Security Number, and a simple statement indicating you disagree with the EDD’s Notice of Overpayment. You will have an opportunity to thoroughly prepare and present your arguments during an appeal hearing. Keep your communication short and relevant. This is not the point in time at which you offer evidence in your defense. You are only requesting an Appeal.
In the meantime, you might consider retaining a local unemployment law attorney to represent because, while it is unlikely that you will be prosecuted, it is important that you do not lose the appeal because of the money involved, and because of the fact that you stand to be penalized in the future as well if you again become unemployed and have need to file a claim.
I wish you the best in 2012.
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