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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27757
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was unemployed for only a short while in 2016, from August

Customer Question

I was unemployed for only a short while in 2016, from August 15th through September 19th. During that time, I collected unemployment benefits, but I also continued my contract work as a transcriber on the side. I did not report that income to EDD. I made during that month approximately $935.00 from my transcription job, and wasn't actually paid for that work until September. I just received a postcard from EDD, and now that I have researched the laws carefully, I understand that I should have reported that extra income. I am extremely nervous and distraught that I committed fraud. Do you know what kind of penalty I might be facing? I am going to be honest with the person who I a supposed to contact at EDD once I verify what issue he wants to discuss with me. The postcard stated that the issue was "1099-MISC form issued by NCCR," which was the company I subcontracted through. The amount of overpayment by EDD probably isn't that much, but I still am very nervous.
JA: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No. I need to first verify that the issue has to do with overpayment.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That should do it. Thanks.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I'm reviewing your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

This sounds as if EDD is aware that they have overpaid you and they are looking to find out why. If you do nothing at all, they will make a determination based on the evidence that they have, ask for the overpayment and depending upon what they see, turn the information over to the DA's office to file a benefits fraud case.

What you did was wrong in that you should have reported the extra earnings. Given that you didn't receive them right away, however, you can probably show them that this was not deliberate fraud on your part but an honest mistake. Since the amount you owe them is low, if you characterize what you did as a mistake and offer to either pay them back the overpayment in full if you can or set up a payment plan, the odds are good that you can resolve this without having to be worried about dealing with a criminal charge.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to have a lawyer respond to EDD, so that you don't make any dangerous admissions to them, and offer to pay any overpayment. In this way, you may be able to avert a prosecution. While you can go in and deal with them yourself, what you say to them on your own behalf is an admission that can be used against you. What your lawyer says, on the other hand, is not.