NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – Unemployment has been a mess since spring when the coronavirus was emerging. Some people have been told the state overpaid them. On Tuesday, we talked with one of them who believes there has to be a better way.
Rick McCullough from Niles can’t believe the situation he’s in. The government notified him in November that he was overpaid Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to the tune of $10,868.
“At this time, it’s not a good time to say, ‘Hey, this kinda money, you owe it back as soon as possible,”‘ McCullough said.
Rick has filed an appeal, but it will take up to three weeks to get an answer.
He was collecting $460 a week, and Rick knew he should’ve only been getting $189. He called, and tried to correct it.
“This wasn’t a mistake on my part and they assured me all three times. He said, ‘We assure you it’s not a mistake on your part,'” he said.
Recently, McCullough has been getting $57 a week, which is an 88% drop. Rick is more concerned about others though, believing some could be in even deeper distress.
682,000 Ohio workers have received PUA benefits since the program started and at least 160,000 were told they got too much money.
“They overpaid. It’s their fault. They don’t seem to care. They are going to turn around and make you pay it back now, that’s really frustrating. That’s the part that gets me the most,” McCullough said.
PUA helps workers who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment. Both of Ohio’s senators support waivers in a new stimulus bill from Congress.
Workers do not have to repay Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which gave workers an extra $600 a week.