Skip to Content
June 17, 2024 Clouds | 79°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 69: Recovery or deduction of erroneous payments; cancellation; liability of disbursing officer; penalty for misrepresentation of material fact or failure to disclose material fact

Section 69. (a) The department may recover by a civil action any amounts paid to an individual through error, or, in the discretion of the commissioner, the amount erroneously paid may be deducted from any future payments of benefits accruing to an individual under the provisions of this chapter provided that there has been a final decision as defined in section 69D. Any civil action brought pursuant to this subsection shall be commenced within six years from the date of the erroneous payment.

If any individual fails to pay when due any amount paid to said individual because of such individual's failure knowingly to furnish accurate information concerning any material fact, including amounts of remuneration received, as provided in subsection (c) of section twenty-four, such overdue amount shall carry interest at a per annum rate provided by subsection (a) of section fifteen from the due date until paid. The total amount of interest assessed shall not exceed fifty percent of the total amount due.

(b) The commissioner may cancel the balance of a restitution owed by an individual under this section if the commissioner finds that such individual is deceased and has left no estate or that, after five years following notice to him that such restitution was required, he has not claimed benefits and he cannot be located.

(c) The commissioner may waive recovery of an overpayment made to any individual, who, in the judgment of the commissioner, is without fault and where, in the judgment of the commissioner such recovery would defeat the purpose of benefits otherwise authorized or would be against equity and good conscience.

Any person aggrieved by a determination or decision of the commissioner that recovery of an overpayment not be waived shall have the right to appeal such determination or decision in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections thirty-nine to forty-two, inclusive.

(d) No disbursing officer shall be held liable for any amount paid by him to any person where the recovery of such amount is waived under this section.

(e) At the time the department determines that an erroneous payment from the Unemployment Compensation Fund was made to an individual due to the individual's misrepresentation of a material fact or failure to disclose a material fact that the individual knew, or reasonably should have known, was material, the individual shall be assessed a penalty equal to 15 per cent of the amount of the erroneous payment. Except as provided in subsection (b), recovery of the penalty shall not be waived. Any appeal of the penalty under subsection (c) shall be limited to whether the amount on which the penalty was assessed is correct. All assessments paid under this subsection shall be deposited immediately in the Unemployment Compensation Fund.