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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4880
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Hello, my name is Emily. Im in need of some advice about

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Hello, my name is Emily. I'm in need of some advice about EDD fraud. In 2012 I was discharged from an employer and started to collect unemployment benefits. I wasn't making enough money to support myself so I started to work while collecting unemployment. I worked for about 5 months while collecting. Now, I'm not disputing I owe EDD for overpayment, at the time I needed it! EDD is now saying I owe them 22,000 for overpayments. They refuse to work with me. They're saying they contacted me via mail but I explained to them I didn't have a stable residence therefore is the reason I couldn't comply with them in a timely manner. I had no idea until one day I started receiving threatening letters from EDD saying I owe them $850.00 a month. I can barely afford to live let alone pay them $850.00 a month. Which they're trying to charge me for the full amount that I was granted during the duration of my time unemployed. Like I said, I'm not denying I owe them money but its certainly not 22,000 it's more like 3,500 but I'm having trouble contacting anyone or finding someone to represent my case. I just want to get this under control, it's causing me to fall into depression. I'm now on an anti depressant because of this problem. I need HELP!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 11 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need some additional information before I can provide you with a complete and thorough answer.

Can you tell me how many months AFTER you stopped working that you collected unemployment benefits?

Also, do you know if EDD is charging you a 30% penalty for fraudulent overpayment?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Yes, EDD is charging me a 30% overpayment fee. I was discharged in May of 2011. I started receiving benefits in June and continued collecting until following year of May 2012 which I was unemployed the entire time. I found a part time job and still collected because I couldn't live off EDD nor the part time job alone. I needed both to barely make ends meet.
Expert:  Joseph replied 11 months ago.
Hello Emily,

I think the main reason that you believe you owe EDD less is that you are only taking into account the time that you were working and collecting unemployment benefits, and not the time after that.

Once you have a job, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits after the termination of that job unless you were terminated through no fault of your own, in which case you would have to apply for unemployment benefits again.

You were likely just calculating the five months that you worked while collecting, but the job you took actually means that all benefits you received while working and after work would be invalidated.

Your one hope would be to somehow eliminate the 30% charge for overpayment. Unfortunately, given the circumstances in your case, and statements that you may have already made to EDD regarding your knowledge that you do owe them for overpayments, it may be difficult to impossible to get that penalty amount removed.

Since it is a civil assessment and not a criminal one, if you can't pay it, you are not going to go to jail for failure to pay on it. EDD may try to seek a judgment against you and then try to collect on it, but that also takes a lot of time.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne, if you need the assets to live every month, you would still probably not be ordered to pay that much to EDD on a monthly basis if they do pursue and try to collect on a judgment against you.

I really regret that I don't have better information to give you, but the law is the law in this case, and there really is no way around it. Since you knowingly misinformed EDD that you were unemployed while working a part time job, you are not entitled to the benefits you received from the start date of your job to the end period of your unemployment.

Since it appears that you knowingly did so, the fraud assessment would also be accurate.

I'm not sure why they won't negotiate with you for a lesser amount, but if you can't pay, you can't pay, period. When or if you do have the money, then they would likely be successful in making you pay, sine the judgment would be in effect for 10 years.

I realize and empathize with you being in a desperate situation where you needed the benefits and needed to work, but EDD unfortunately is a government bureaucracy and doesn't make any exceptions in the application of its rules.

In reality, no attorney is going to be able to help you, but EDD should probably try working with you if they actually want to get the money back from you in the long run.

I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions.

Thanks and best of luck!
Expert:  Joseph replied 11 months ago.
Hello Emily,

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions regarding the above.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4880
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and 4 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I don't think you understand what I meant...? I must have explained it wrong but thank you for your time anyway. I found someone who can help with this misunderstanding. Thank you, Emily.
Expert:  Joseph replied 11 months ago.

Okay, although I don't think I had any problems understanding you or the situation.

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