Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 60.2. Unemployment Compensation
Chapter 6. Benefits
11/29/2022

Article 6. Violations, Penalties, and Liabilities.

§ 60.2-632. False statements, etc., to obtain or increase benefits.

Whoever makes a false statement or representation knowing it to be false or knowingly fails to disclose a material fact, with intent to obtain or increase any benefit or other payment under this title, the unemployment compensation act of any other state, or any program of the federal government which is administered in any way under this title, either for himself or for any other person, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Each such false statement or representation or failure to disclose a material fact shall constitute a separate offense.

Code 1950, § 60-112; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-129; 1970, c. 104; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-633. Receiving benefits to which not entitled.

A. Any person who has received any sum as benefits under this title to which he was not entitled shall be liable to repay such sum to the Commission. For purposes of this section, "benefits under this title" includes benefits under an unemployment benefit program of the United States or of any other state. In the event the claimant does not refund the overpayment, the Commission shall deduct from any future benefits such sum payable to him under this title. However, if an overpayment of benefits under this chapter, but not under an unemployment benefit program of the United States or of any other state, occurred due to administrative error, the Commission shall have the authority to negotiate the terms of repayment, which shall include (i) deducting up to 50 percent of the payable amount for any future week of benefits claimed, rounded down to the next lowest dollar until the overpayment is satisfied; (ii) forgoing collection of the payable amount until the recipient has found employment as defined in § 60.2-212; or (iii) determining and instituting an individualized repayment plan. The Commission shall collect an overpayment of benefits under this chapter caused by administrative error only by offset against future benefits or a negotiated repayment plan; however, the Commission may institute any other method of collection if the individual fails to enter into or comply with the terms of the repayment plan. Administrative error shall not include decisions reversed in the appeals process. In addition, the overpayment may be collectible by civil action in the name of the Commission. Amounts collected in this manner may be subject to an interest charge as prescribed in § 58.1-15 from the date of judgment and may be subject to fees and costs. Collection activities for any benefit overpayment established of five dollars or less may be suspended. The Commission may, for good cause, determine as uncollectible and discharge from its records any benefit overpayment which remains unpaid after the expiration of seven years from the date such overpayment was determined, or immediately upon the death of such person or upon his discharge in bankruptcy occurring subsequently to the determination of overpayment. Any existing overpayment balance not equal to an even dollar amount shall be rounded to the next lowest even dollar amount.

B. The Commission is authorized to accept repayment of benefit overpayments by use of a credit card. The Virginia Employment Commission shall add to such payment a service charge for the acceptance of such card. Such service charge shall not exceed the percentage charged to the Virginia Employment Commission for use of such card.

C. Final orders of the Commission with respect to benefit overpayments may be recorded, enforced and satisfied as orders or decrees of a circuit court upon certification of such orders by the Commissioner as may be appropriate.

Code 1950, § 60-115; 1962, c. 138; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-132; 1974, c. 466; 1979, c. 675; 1980, c. 751; 1981, c. 251; 1984, c. 458; 1985, c. 151; 1986, c. 480; 1988, c. 544; 1990, c. 687; 1996, c. 95; 2008, c. 492; 2010, c. 327; 2013, c. 683; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 539.

§ 60.2-634. Receiving back pay after reinstatement.

Whenever the Commission finds that a discharged employee has received back pay at his customary wage rate from his employer after reinstatement such employee shall be liable to repay any benefits paid to such person during the time he was unemployed. When such an employee is liable to repay benefits to the Commission, such sum shall be collectible without interest by civil action in the name of the Commission.

Code 1950, § 60-116; 1962, c. 138; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-133; 1974, c. 466; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-635. Deprivation of further benefits.

Any person who has been finally convicted under this chapter shall be deprived of any further benefits for the one-year period next ensuing after the date of conviction.

Code 1950, § 60-117; 1962, c. 138; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-134; 1974, c. 466; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-636. Penalty for fraudulent claim.

A. Any person who has been disqualified for benefits under subdivision 4 of § 60.2-618 and who, because of those same acts or omissions, has received any sum as benefits under this title to which the person is not entitled shall be assessed a penalty in an amount equal to 15 percent of the amount of the payment to which the person was not entitled. All penalties collected by the Commission shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the clearing account of the Fund established pursuant to § 60.2-300. The penalty applies to an erroneous payment made under any state program providing for the payment of unemployment compensation as well as an erroneous payment made under any federal program providing for the payment of unemployment compensation. The notice of determination or decision advising the person that benefits have been denied or adjusted pursuant to subdivision 4 of § 60.2-618 shall include the reason for the finding of an erroneous payment, the penalty amount assessed under this section, and the reason the penalty has been applied.

B. The amount of the penalty assessed pursuant to this section may be collected in any manner allowed for the recovery of the erroneous payment. When a recovery with respect to an erroneous payment is made, any recovery shall be applied first to the principal of the erroneous payment, then to the penalty amount imposed under this section, and finally to any other amounts due.

2013, c. 771.

§ 60.2-637. Notice of penalties for false or misleading statements.

A. The Commission shall provide to each claimant notices of the sanctions to which the claimant is subject as a consequence of providing false or misleading statements to obtain unemployment benefits. The notices shall, at a minimum, (i) identify the penalties and sanctions to which any person is liable as a result of providing false or misleading statements to obtain benefits; (ii) inform the claimant that making a false statement or representation knowing it to be false or knowingly failing to disclose a material fact, with intent to obtain or increase any benefit or other payment under this title, is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor; and (iii) provide a summary of all remedies available to the Commission to collect overpayments made to a claimant as a result of his making false or misleading statements to obtain benefits.

B. The notices required by subsection A shall be included with the written statement advising claimants of their benefit rights and responsibilities that is provided by the Commission to claimants following the filing of the initial claim. In addition, the notices shall be provided to claimants at the time of the filing of initial and weekly claims by the same medium, including telephone or the Internet, that is used by the claimant to file his claim.

C. The failure of the claimant to receive any of the notices set out in subsection A shall not constitute a defense to any criminal prosecution for unemployment insurance fraud under § 60.2-632, to an administrative fraud disqualification under subdivision 4 of § 60.2-618, or to any overpayment of benefits under § 60.2-633 that the claimant would be required to repay as a result of the fraudulent act or acts.

2013, c. 740.