Iowa Widow Fights to Clear Late Husband’s Unemployment Debt
It's interesting how forgiveness of college debt may be on the table for thousands of Americans, but yet an Iowa widow may be on the hook for $467 her husband received in unemployment benefits before he died of cancer.
Lori Harvey lost her husband Thomas in April. She says last month she got a letter addressed to him from Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) for $467 in overpaid unemployment wages. She could have ignored and tossed the letter but she did her honest due diligence. She sent a typed letter to IWD complete with Thomas' death certificate attached. She thought under the circumstances they'd drop the case.
She was told she'd have to appear at an appeal hearing over the money. Again, having done her due diligence and kept records of every correspondence and communication on the matter, she thought she was in the right.
With diligence not prevailing in her favor so far, she told officials with Iowa Workforce Development that she and Thomas "weren't really married" in 2019, when the unemployment benefits were paid out. To top it off, she's got $50,000 of medical expenses related to Thomas' treatment, saying insurance won't cover it because, in their eyes, it wasn't necessary to his treatment. KCCI got the following response from IWD:
Iowa Workforce Development is not able to comment on individual claims or cases. We encourage any Iowan with questions or issues related to UI claims to contact the IWD customer service line at uiclaimshelp@or 1-866-239-0843, and we will make sure that you receive the assistance you need.
Will Lori Harvey catch a break, or will bureaucracy prevail as usual? We'll keep you posted. She has her hearing this Friday is hoping for the best--that the hearing and the debt for this relatively minuscule amount of money both get canceled.