ODJFS: 7,400 new suspicious unemployment claims reported

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FILE – In this Nov. 5, 2020, file photo, a booklet describing unemployment benefits is seen on a desk, in North Andover, Mass. Unemployment insurance aid is expiring for millions on the weekend as President Donald Trump holds a pandemic relief package in limbo and gripes about “pork” in the bipartisan legislation passed by Congress. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services continues to flag thousands of new unemployment claims for fraud.

In the week from March 14 through March 20, ODJFS says they found 7,400 applications — out of 69,368 initial unemployment claims — that they are investigating for possible fraud.

The initial claims were 445,856 fewer than — or about 42% of — the peak last year. That included both traditional unemployment claims and claims for extended benefits. A total of 177,713 Ohioans received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Over the last 53 weeks, the department has distributed more than $9.1 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 979,000 Ohioans. In addition, ODJFS has issued more than $9.9 billion in pandemic assistance payments to more than 1 million Ohioans.

Anyone who suspects their identity was compromised and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim is urged to report it immediately. Click “Report Identity Theft,” on the ODJFS web site or call 833-648-0394.

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