LEGISLATIVE NEWS: Ortiz-Self Offers Relief to Those Facing Pandemic Unemployment Overpayment Interest

OLYMPIA – Relief is on the way for Washingtonians facing overpayment assessments and accruing interest on unemployment benefits received during the COVID-19 pandemic. House Bill 1975, sponsored by Rep. Ortiz-Self (D-Mukilteo), offers much-needed fairness to individuals impacted by delays in processing waiver requests.

The pandemic’s economic hardship forced Congress to create temporary unemployment benefits under the CARES Act. While these programs provided crucial support, some recipients now face interest charges on unintended overpayments.

House Bill 1975 addresses this by postponing interest on overpayment assessments for benefits received between February 2020 and September 2021, until January 1, 2025. Individuals who already paid interest can receive a refund or credit.

“The pandemic’s financial effects linger for many,” said Rep. Ortiz-Self. “This bill ensures those who relied on assistance aren’t penalized for circumstances beyond their control.”

House Bill 1975 passed the Labor and Workplace Standards Committee on January 19 and the House of Representatives today. Both votes were unanimous. It advances to the Senate for further consideration.