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Florida DEO Secretary says the agency is working on forgiving overpayments

As people make their way out of the unemployment maze, First Coast News is hearing from many who are facing an overpayment and unsure what to do.

CALLAHAN, Fla. — Don't fret. Your overpayment from pandemic unemployment can be forgiven. 

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle was in Callahan, Florida with the governor Monday. He was there to speak on job growth in Nassau County. 

The governor mentioned that the unemployment rate for the state is at 3%. That is 0.6% below the national rate. 

First Coast News reported in June that people who are finding jobs are still stuck in the unemployment maze because of overpayments. During the pandemic when millions of Floridians needed benefits, DEO accidentally overpaid many (though the total number has been unclear). 

In 2021, the governor stated collections agencies would not go after people facing overpayments at no fault of their own. Now, Eagle says people can get their overpayments forgiven.

“We are required by state and federal law to issue the overpayments, but what we could do within state law is forgive them if there is no fault for fraud or other things," Eagle told Shields during the press conference on Monday. "There is a process to be able to go through that." 

The process is as follows:

  • Go to floridajobs.org/rahelpcenter
  • Follow the prompts by clicking "I am the claimant"
  • Choose "Overpayment Assistance"
  • Choose from the 3 options: Overpayment Guide, Overpayment Notice, or Repay and Overpayment
  • If you click 'Overpayment Notice', you will be directed to this link.

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