Missouri lawmaker pushes for bill to forgive unemployment overpayments


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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Missouri lawmaker has pre-filed a bill to prohibit the state from recovering improperly dispensed overpayments of unemployment benefits.

Earlier this year, more than 46,000 Missourians were overpaid unemployment benefits during the pandemic. The state asked those who were overpaid to return the money. The state then said people could apply for a waiver to keep the federal portion of the overpayment.

State Rep. Ian Mackey (D- St. Louis) said folks followed the directions and adhered to the law.

Mackey says states were encouraged to use the CARES Act funds to forgive improperly dispensed unemployment overpayments. However, Missouri is one of ten states that require funds to be repaid no matter how they were collected.

Mackey said both parties in the Missouri House approved a bill to forgive the Federal portion of the overpayments last year but it stalled in the Senate.

“This is the right thing to do,” Mackey said. “It’s time for us to join 40 other states in saying that, if we, the government, made a mistake, it’s on us, not you. Almost the whole House agreed last year: it’s wrong for Missouri taxpayers to pay for a mistake their government made.”

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