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Thousands of WA workers remain trapped in unemployment overpayments

David Ullman, photographed at Martha Washington Park in Seattle on Friday, June 2, 2023, is mired in a dispute with the Employment Security Department over benefit overpayments. Roughly 115,000 who ESD says were overpaid in benefits during the pandemic are now being asked to collectively repay roughly $1 billion. Many don’t know about a waiver program.

Amid concerns of recession and more layoffs in Washington later this year, the state’s unemployment system is still dealing with the burdens of the pandemic.

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