Omaha man frustrated with demands for unemployment benefits returned

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Dismissed from a car rental company when 68-year-old Gary Bright was hit by the pandemic. Unemployment controls gave him hope. That weakened when the Nebraska Department of Labor reclaimed everything.

“What a shock, I just haven’t got it,” said Bright.

$ 8,400 between state and federal benefits.

“Well, they shouldn’t have paid me in the beginning, I should never have received a check if I hadn’t qualified. I was absolutely honest with them, ”said Bright.

Bright said when he came into the office to apply for unemployment benefits, he gave honest answers and the staff approved his payments. Payments that he now has to repay.

Victor Lapuma, a labor attorney, said, “This is what they give and this is taken away.”

Labor attorney Victor Lapuma couldn’t figure out why.

“By the way, there really is no explanation, no explanation, just that you are not authorized, so I don’t get it,” said Lapuma.

The experienced labor lawyer has another client who has received an application for unemployment reimbursement.

“These customers are scared, I mean, they are not powerful people, they have no resources. I’ve never seen anything like it before months later where they try to take the money back. “”

Gary has a medical notice that the underlying conditions are preventing him from finding another job. But this and other information he provided didn’t stop the demand for repayment.

“I feel like a criminal or something. I did nothing wrong. I just lost my job, ”said Bright.

To find out why $ 8,400 unemployment has to be paid back, the labor attorney and Bright say the state left them in the dark.

A statement from the Nebraska Department of Labor said: “The law requires that anyone seeking unemployment benefits be able to work and be available.

Unless an applicant is tied to an employer with a fixed recall date, the applicant must conduct an active job search. People who are not assigned to an employer have to look for work.

An applicant must be willing to accept suitable jobs if offered, or, when filing an application for unemployment, should provide a doctor’s letter stating that a doctor has restricted the type of work that can be accepted. The note should explain what work the employee can do. If it is determined that an applicant is not entitled to or is not entitled to the unemployment benefit received, an overpayment will result. Applicants are responsible for reimbursing benefits to which they were not entitled regardless of their fault. Nebraska law does not provide for a waiver of regular state unemployment benefits. “

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