The state of Ohio overpaid more than $2 billion in unemployment benefits to hundreds of thousands of Ohioans during the pandemic. And a significant percentage of that money went to fraud. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services interim director Matt Damschroder says the $2.1 billion in overpayments includes the federal weekly benefit checks of $600 and then $300. $21 million of that was payments on fraudulent claims for traditional unemployment. Fake claims for federal pandemic unemployment assistance for workers who didn’t qualify for traditional unemployment totaled $441 million.
“It is clear that wide scale fraud and overpayments have been experienced nationwide during this global pandemic. No state has been immune.”
Damschroder says his agency is working on coming up with waivers for those who received the $1.6 billion in non-fraudulent overpayments.