Integrated Service Center

Overpayments

Last updated Thursday, January 13, 2022

An overpayment occurs when you are paid for hours that you did not work or for which you were paid at an incorrect rate. An overpayment can be reported by an employee or discovered by the employee’s department during a review of their payroll.

A series of state and federal regulations govern the overpayment process; as a state agency, the University of Washington is required by law to recover these overpaid funds.


  • If you discover an overpayment on your paycheck, you are required to notify your department immediately.


On This Page:


Pay Reversal Procedures and Timing

The ISC Payroll team often receives overpayment notifications right after payroll has processed, which result in different reversal procedures. If the overpayment is:

  • For the full amount of the direct deposit, and within the window to reverse the funds – The ISC Payroll team will request a reversal from the bank rather than establish an overpayment repayment plan.
  • For a partial amount of the check – The ISC Payroll team requires approval from the employee prior to reversing the funds. The entire net amount of the employee’s pay must still be reversed. Once we have verified the funds have been returned, a corrected, physical check will be written for any funds that are owed.

In either case, in order to reverse the funds and have a corrected check available by the upcoming pay day, Payroll must be notified of the reversal before 12:00pm three business days prior to pay day.

If the employee receives a paper check, and the overpayment is:

  • For the full amount of the check – The Payroll Office will pull the check (if not already mailed) and cancel the pay results.
  • For a partial amount of the check – The check may be pulled and reissued.

How To Repay the University

Options for Current Employees

Active employees have four repayment options to choose from:

  • Non-exempt employees may correct an overpayment with a correction to their timesheet, if less than 90 days from the date the timesheet was submitted, approved, and paid
  • Total Gross One-Time Repayment
  • Installment Deductions
  • Time Off Hours (using vacation and/or compensatory time)

Information about the Overpayment process, including worksheets, instructions, and notifications is available in the Overpayment Process Overview linked in the right-hand sidebar of this page.

Options for Former Employees

Employees who have separated from the University or are on long-term leave must repay the University by check, which requires the ISC Payroll team to calculate the total amount owned. An overpayment cannot be considered paid in full unless it is for the amount that has been calculated by the ISC.

Information about the Overpayment process, including worksheets, instructions, and notifications is available in the Overpayment Process Overview linked in the right-hand sidebar of this page.

Repayment for Suspended Operations Make Up Time

Suspended operations missed work time does not qualify for an overpayment repayment option plan.

If an employee does not make-up the time within 90 days,* they must complete the Suspended Operations Overpayment Form, linked in the right-hand sidebar of this page, to account for the missed work time.

The completed form should be sent to ischelp@uw.edu.

In the event an employee terminates before their missed work time balance has been accounted for, remaining hours will be deducted from the employee’s final paycheck. If the final paycheck has already been processed, the normal overpayment process will be used to collect the balance due.

Visit UWHR’s Suspended Operations page for more information about Suspended Operations policy.

* Most employees have 90 days from the last day of Suspended Operations to make up any lost work hours. However, per their contract, SEIU 925 employees have 60 days.

Ensuring Timely Repayment

Departments work with the ISC to ensure repayment of overpayments using the appropriate method listed above. When an employee does not sign the Overpayment Repayment Option Form, the department may refer the overpayment to the ISC for further action.

An employee has 20 days to respond to the initial Overpayment Notice Letter from their department. If there is no response to the initial notice, a pre-collection letter is sent at the end of the 20-day period. This letter will be sent from the ISC via certified mail to the home address on file.

If all prior attempts to secure payment arrangements have failed, the overpayment may be placed with an outside collection agency. Accounts referred for collection are charged a collection fee (commission) by the collection agency in addition to the overpayment amount due. Once an overpayment has been turned over to the collection agency, the ISC will no longer accept payments from the employee. The employee must communicate directly with the collection agency.

Related Links

Overpayment Process Overview (Word doc)

Suspended Operations Overpayment Form

Rules and Regulations

IRS Publication 525 (PDF) has information regarding salary overpayments and prior tax year.

For the relevant section from the Revised Code of Washington, review R.C.W. 49.48.200 and R.C.W. 49.48.210.