WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBN) – Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is questioning the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services after reports that the agency is demanding Ohioans pay back unemployment payments mistakenly given by the state.
In his letter to ODJFS, Brown points to financial anxiety he says thousands of unemployed Ohioans are already facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is imperative that Ohio’s UI program provide a safety net for laid-off individuals. Thousands of Ohioans already experienced significant delays in receiving their unemployment benefits, and these recoupment letters are aggravating already financially stressful times for Ohio workers. I urge ODJFS to use its existing authority to waive recoupment of overpayments when they were made as a result of an error by the state,” wrote Brown.
He’s asking that the state identify whether the overpayment was the result of the individual or an error by the state and give individuals steps for filing an appeal of the state’s decision. He’s also asking the state to refrain from sending the individuals to collections for non-fraud overpayments.