Substitute Teachers Asked to Pay Back COVID Benefits

By Kevin Deutsch
kdeutsch@bronxjusticenews.com

The state Department of Labor has asked hundreds of substitute teachers, including some from the Bronx, to pay back thousands of dollars in pandemic unemployment benefits.

Several teachers told Bronx Justice News they received letters that legally require them to pay back COVID-19 unemployment benefit funds, which were distributed as part of an expanded benefits program last summer.

But these teachers said they already spent the emergency money on bills, rent, and food. They are now working with the teacher’s union to fight the decision.

A Department of Labor spokesperson told News 12:

“Each claim is unique and there are a number of reasons why a claimant might be required to repay benefits, especially for a brand-new program like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which was launched in the middle of a global pandemic.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

About Kevin Deutsch 252 Articles
Kevin Deutsch is a Staff Writer for Bronx Justice News covering the criminal justice system, drugs, and DNA use by law enforcement. An award-winning journalist, Deutsch is the author of the true crime books "Pill City" and "The Triangle." He has worked on staff at the Daily News, Miami Herald, Newsday, The Palm Beach Post, and The Riverdale Press. His work has also appeared in Newsweek, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Forward, The Independent, Huffington Post, Orlando Sentinel, and the New York Post, among other publications. His numerous television appearances include spots on CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN's BookTV. He has also been featured in The New Yorker. A Bronx resident, Deutsch hosts the true crime podcast "A Dark Turn" on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.