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Unemployment Insurance Overpayment and Recovery

An overpayment occurs when unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are paid to a claimant who is later determined not to have been eligible or entitled to those benefits. Claimants are responsible for repaying any benefits they were not eligible to receive back to Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), regardless of fault.

Make Payment  Online 


Some of the common causes of overpayments include:

  • an IWD decision reverses a previous allowance of UI benefits to a claimant
  • claimant and/or employer fail to disclose that the claimant received wages, holiday, vacation pay, severance pay or other deductible pay after a job separation
  • claimant fails to accurately report earnings and hours worked while filing for UI benefits
  • claimant’s weekly and/or maximum UI benefit amount changes (a monetary redetermination is made) because the wage information was incorrect when the claim was initially filed
  • claimant is disqualified from receiving UI benefits due to being responsible for their job separation
  • claimant fails to notify IWD that he or she does not meet the eligibility requirements

Overpayment Decision Letter

In an effort to reduce confusion, IWD has streamlined the overpayment notification process.  If an overpayment is assessed, you will receive a single overpayment letter that includes the dollar amount you owe and the time frame that the overpayment covers.  This single letter will also specify the eligibility rules for each program for which an overpayment has been assessed.  Please note that if an overpayment amount changes because of an appeal or additional information received, another letter with a revised amount will be sent.  If you have questions regarding the dollar amount or the weeks that are owed, please contact IWD customer service at 1-866-239-0843. 

Fraudulent Practice

Deliberate misrepresentation in order to receive a benefit that a claimant knew they were not entitled to, meets the definition of “Fraudulent Practice”.  In certain cases, where deliberate misrepresentation has occurred, the case may be turned over to the County Attorney’s office where the claimant resides.  The County Attorney will make the determination as to whether or not felony charges will be issued on a case by case basis.  Overpayments caused by deliberate misrepresentation (Fraud) include a 15 percent penalty.

Overpayment Recovery

The claimant will receive monthly billing notices and other collection letters regarding the amount owed. Should the claimant become eligible for future UI benefits, 100% of each weekly benefit payment may be applied to the non-fraud overpayment balance until it is paid in full. Individuals with a fraud overpayment balance due must pay the full balance including penalty, interest and lien fees to be eligible for future benefits.  

Collection activities may include, but are not limited to: 

  • State and/or Federal income tax refund interception
  • The Department of Revenue will match social security numbers with individuals who have an overpayment debt payable to IWD
    • If the claimant or the claimant's spouse file taxes jointly, their refund may be intercepted to pay the overpayment debt
  • lottery intercepts
  • vendor payment intercepts
  • wage garnishment actions
  • UI benefit payment offsets
  • voluntary repayment plans

Payment Options 


Credit/Debit Card/E-Checks payments may be made online.

Make Payment  Online 

Please follow all the directions and complete every blank and section. The following internet browsers must be used in order for the online payment to process: Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. The internet browser Internet Explorer (IE) will not work.​

U.S. Mail

IWD will accept payments via check, money order or cashier check payable to Iowa Workforce Development, remit payment to following address: 

Iowa Workforce Development 
​UI Collections
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

If unable to pay the balance due in full, IWD will work with the claimant to set up a payment plan. For further information, please contact us at 1-800-914-6808. Remember to include your full name, address and last four digits of your social security number on all correspondence.


Online Waiver Request Form

Per Sections 2104 (F) (2) and 2107 (E) (2) of the CARES Act, you may request an overpayment waiver for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). The request should be sent to:

Iowa Workforce Development
Overpayment waiver request
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319

For fastest service please submit the online form.  However you may submit the request via mail in writing, the request must include the following:

  1. Claimant name & address.
  2. Decision number/date of decision.
  3. Dollar amount of overpayment requested for waiver.
  4. Relevant facts that you feel would justify a waiver.