Complaint: My husband received unemployment benefits in 2014 for three months after losing his main job ( he found a job after three months). I own my own business and also employ my husband paying him a very small amount ($300 a month). When my husband signed up for the unemployment, he completely forgot about this small income form my company, which per unemployment book would lower his benefits by $25 per week ( $75-$50=$25). I do not blame him for forgetting since I was the one who always deposited his salary into our joint account. He never really saw the money .And by the way, he used to make $12,000 a month in his main job. Long story short. The Unemployment Overpayment Unit came after him this year accusing him of fraud and demanded the entire unemployment benefit back plus penalty $3,415! We obviously requested an appeal. He received a telephone hearing, the date they gave him was the day when he was traveling on business and was supposed to be on a plane at that time. He requested a different date but was denied without an explanation why, so much for supporting people who have jobs and are trying to keep them. SO he had to change his flight, paid extra $400 in extra fees, upset his current boss just to be able to talk to a hearing officer. And the hearing was a COMPLETE WASTE of time. The hearing is a formality, Georgia Department of Labor must offer it by law but make no mistake, the decision is already made regardless of what you say to them. The hearing officer made a conclusion in her after hearing report that because it was my husbandu2019s responsibility to remember to report all the earnings therefore by failing to do so he committed a fraud and must pay back. Since when forgetting something is the definition of fraud????!!! And doesn’t the law say it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that someone broke the law before calling him guilty. And again, we are talking about forgetting to report a whopping amount of weekly income of $25!!! They want your money and they keep telling you that you knowingly committed unemployment fraud. So basically my husband would jeopardize loosing $2,745 just to gain extra $225 over the three months period! One would have to be completely insane to do that!!! He forgot, it was a human error, it was a very small amount that he wasn’t even depositing. Georgia Department of Labor does not believe in human error, never mind that their employee sent a spread sheet with a sensitive personal information to over 1000 individuals by mistake which now turned into a Class action lawsuit or wasted $58.7 million in overpayments October 1, 2008, and March 31, 2011. Georgia Department of Labor has the right to make mistakes, we are not and we are very quickly called criminals over forgetting to report $25 to unemployment unit. There is absolutely no common sense used in determining which case is a fraud and which is not. People are not perfect, they make mistakes. We do not mind to paying back $225 that he forgot to report but taking everything back with penalty and calling him a criminal is outrageous and predatory! My husband reported everything to the best of his knowledge. We will also be calling the Governor to find out about our further options to appeal. There must be a more fair, impartial way to handle our case. Getting a hearing by Georgia Department of Labor employee is a JOKE! They Could NOT Care less about your explanation, they want your money. It is appalling the way they handle the appeals and treat everybody like a criminal!!!
Tags: Government Services
Address: 148 Andrew Young International Blvd NE Atlanta, Georgia USA