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Arizona Court Waives Interest In Buried Unemployment Benefits Cases

The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled the state cannot collect interest owed by people who were overpaid while receiving unemployment benefits — and whose appeals were long-buried.

The Court of Appeals last year rebuked the department after a judge found that it didn’t detect that a now-former employee hid numerous appeals without submitting them to the court for consideration.

This most recent ruling says approximately 350 cases were delayed, including roughly 200 for at least a year, while dozens were delayed several years.

The court ruled that six recipients’ constitutional due-process rights were violated and must have their interest waived. But the court also noted that that the Department of Economic Security reported it already was doing that in all delayed cases with overpayments not involving fraud.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.