COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Since the launch of Better Call 4 one year ago, dozens of you have called or emailed with concerns about fraudulent activity on or changes to your unemployment benefits account.
Now, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has created a new process to help you get your money back.
Beginning Friday, October 1, Ohioans who were victims of unemployment account takeovers can begin requesting to get their money.
An account takeover happens when a criminal gains unauthorized access to your account and changes banking information to reroute unemployment benefits their way instead.
If this happened to you, you can request reimbursement, and that request will initiate the process in the unemployment system. Once that happens, you will receive an affidavit. That affidavit will ask you to indicate the weeks you did not receive unemployment benefits.
Once you complete the affidavit, you must sign it in the presence of a licensed notary public, then return it to ODJFS by mail, email, or fax.
A staff member will then individually review each requested week of reimbursement, make a determination, and notify you of the decision.
If approved, you’ll get that money back. If denied, you’ll be given the option to appeal.
To clarify, this program is for individuals who should have received unemployment benefits and did not because someone hacked into their account.
Currently, there is no estimate on how long the process will take.
The department said staff members are reaching out personally, to more than 3,000 claimants with fraudulent account activity like this, to make sure they get the money they are owed.
The department also announced improvements to its fraud reporting portal at unemployment.ohio.gov.
Individuals who believe they were victims of an account takeover can call 1-877-644-6562 to request reimbursement.