BOSTON (WWLP) – When COVID-19 hit the Commonwealth, thousands of residents found themselves out of work so they turned to the state to collect unemployment.

Some people were overpaid and they spent that money without knowing. Putting them in a really tough spot. The Department of Unemployment Assistance is now going back and reviewing claims that were fulfilled during the pandemic.

What they found was that hundreds of people received more money than they were supposed to and now DUA is trying to get some of that money back. If this happened to you, the state has more information on what to do on the website.

Lawmakers were alerted to the problem by an overwhelming number of constituent complaints. All from people that they say spent the money in good faith.

“It’s some pretty big dollar figures, 7, 10, even 20 thousand dollars. I don’t know too many people that have that kind’ve money sitting in their bank accounts,” Rep. Joan Meschino told 22News.

To help people that owe the state lawmakers want to expand the eligibility for a repayment waiver. Meaning DUA wouldn’t get their money back if it was used for things like living expenses. However, there are consequences for people that don’t pay this money back or that aren’t approved for a waiver. Including wage garnishment and even a withholding of benefits if they get laid off again.