Skip Navigation

Returning Unemployment Insurance (UI) Payments Question And Answer Fact Sheet

The UCFE program is administered by state unemployment insurance (UI) agencies acting as agents of the Federal government. In general, the law of the state in which an individual’s official duty station in Federal civilian service is located will be the state law under which an individual’s eligibility for benefits is determined.

The responses below provide general information.

Retroactive Payment of Wages

Are Federal employees required to repay the unemployment benefits received when/if wages are paid retroactively for the time that they were not working during the Government shutdown?

In most States, including the District of Columbia, employees who receive unemployment benefits and also later receive a retroactive payment from their employer for the same time period, will be required to repay the UI benefits received.

The State UI agency determines whether or not an overpayment exists and, generally, the recovery of the overpayment is a matter for State action under its law; however, some State UI laws require the employer to recover such overpayment.

Can an employee’s wages be garnished if there is an overpayment of benefits?

Yes, if the State law has provisions for wage garnishments. However, employees will be given the opportunity to voluntarily repay the overpayment first before the State proceeds with any garnishments.

If I am overpaid benefits, will I be required to repay the entire amount all at once?

It depends on the State requirements; most States will allow an individual to set up a repayment agreement to satisfy the overpayment.

Cancellation of UI Claim

Is it possible to cancel my UI claim now that the Government shutdown has ended?

It depends on the State UI law and the status of your claim. Most States will not allow cancellation of a UI claim if the (weekly/bi-weekly) continued claim certification was made and/or any benefit payment(s) were issued.

I have not yet received any UI payments; how can I find out the status of my claim?

You will need to contact the State UI agency where you filed your claim.

To obtain State UI specific information, please contact the State UI agency directly or review the UI requirements on the State website.

State Unemployment Insurance Office Contact Information

Division of Unemployment Insurance
(Various Claim Centers)
Phone: Toll Free (800) 827-4839 or (877) 293-4125

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Unemployment Compensation (UC)
(Various Claim Centers)
Phone: Toll Free (888) 313-7284 or 717-787-3547

District of Columbia
District of Columbia Department of Employment Services Office of Unemployment Compensation Central Claims Division
609 H Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 724-7000

Employment Commission
Federal Benefits Section Room 200
Post Office Box 1358
Richmond, VA 23218-1358
Phone: (804) 786-1885

Department of Labor & Industry Unemployment Insurance Division
P.O. Box 8020
Helena MT 59604-8020
Phone: (406) 444-3783

West Virginia
Unemployment Compensation
(Various Claim Centers)
Phone: (304) 558-0291 or (304) 285-3124

North Carolina
Employment Security Commission
700 Wade Avenue
Raleigh NC 27605
Phone: 888-737-0259

This page was last reviewed on