HBA-TYH H.B. 1386 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1386 By: Keffer Economic Development 3/10/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Based on previous court decisions, the Texas Workforce Commission (commission) is currently prevented from collecting overpayment of unemployment benefits from recipients if the overpayment resulted from agency error. Unlike other dispersing agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service or the Texas Department of Human Services, an overpayment may remain with the claimant. This results in claimants receiving additional benefits to which they are not entitled. It may also contribute to higher unemployment tax rates for all employers. H.B. 1386 provides that a claimant is not entitled to an overpayment of benefits, regardless of the reason, and authorizes the commission to collect such overpayments. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Workforce Commission in SECTION 2 (Section 207.131, Labor Code) of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 207.001, Labor Code, by redesignating existing text as Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (b), as follows: (b) Provides that except as provided by Section 210.003 (Employee's Liability; Sole Liability of Employer), a claimant is not entitled to retain any benefits paid to that claimant exceeding the amount of benefits authorized by this subtitle (Texas Unemployment Compensation Act). SECTION 2. Amends Chapter 207, Labor Code, by adding Subchapter H, as follows: SUBCHAPTER H. EFFECT OF ERRONEOUS OVERPAYMENT OF BENEFITS Sec. 207.131. NO ENTITLEMENT TO OVERPAID BENEFITS. (a) Provides that except as provided by Section 210.003, a claimant is not entitled to retain any benefits paid to that claimant exceeding the amount of benefits authorized by this subtitle. (b) Requires the claimant to refund the amount overpaid to the compensation fund in the manner prescribed by rules adopted by the Texas Workforce Commission (commission). Authorizes the commission by rule to allow repayment made under this subsection to be made in periodic payments. (c) Requires the commission to deduct the amount overpaid to the claimant against that claimant's future benefits under this subtitle, if the commission determines that a claimant who has received an overpayment of benefits is unable to refund the amount of the overpayment. (d) Provides that an overpayment subject to this section is collectible in the manner provided by Section 212.006(b) (Recovery of Benefits Paid) for recovery of benefits after a final decision made under Chapter 212 (Dispute Resolution). (e) Provides that a claimant who disputes the designation of any benefits received by that claimant as overpaid benefits is entitled to a hearing in the manner provided by Chapter 212 for a disputed claim. SECTION 3. Amends the heading of Section 211.004, Labor Code, as follows: Sec. 211.004. New title: OFFSET UNDER CERTAIN RECIPROCAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR OVERPAYMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. SECTION 4.Effective date: September 1, 1999. Makes application of this Act prospective. SECTION 5.Emergency clause.