Sen. Markey Investigating As Freelancers Are Told To Pay Back Unemployment


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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Various gig and freelance workers have been getting notices from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) telling them they owe tens of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits.

WBZ’s Karyn Regal spoke with Senator Ed Markey’s Office Friday after speaking to nearly 20 workers who had received these notices earlier this week. The office said that they are taking a “close look” at the situation and looking for solutions.

On Tuesday, the EOLWD released a statement saying how the lack of unemployment benefits was addressed by the federal Continuing Assistance to Unemployed Workers act.

Read More: Mass. Gave Unemployment To Gig Workers. Now, It Wants Some Money Back

This act, which was signed into law on December 27 of last year, amended the CARES Acts by adding a new requirement for claimants who received a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payment after December 27.

However, EOLWD said claimants had to show they had employment, self-employment or planned to start employment immediately prior to the year their claim was filed.

“If the claimant fails to meet the requirements, the claimant is determined overpaid retroactive to December 27, 2020,” the statement reads, “and is required by federal law to repay funds that were not eligible for.”

Those affected by this act are asked to call Markey’s Office. The number is 617-565-8519.

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports:

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