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Audit Says Ohio's Jobless Claims System Was Too Slow, Too Old And Too Opaque

ODJFS building - Kasler.JPEG
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services main office in Columbus

A report on the performance of the unemployment claims processing from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services found several issues.

The system that Ohioans use to apply for unemployment benefits was too slow to react to scammers, isn’t being transparent on why claims aren’t being paid and costs the state a lot of money.

Those are some of the conclusions of the state auditor’s performance audit of the jobless benefits functions of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

There was a 27,000% increase in the volume of jobless claims handled by ODJFS starting in March 2020.

And Nicole Smith with the auditor’s office told a joint legislative panel that tsunami was overwhelming.

“We found that ODJFS uses a system to process claims that has not been substantially updated in nearly a decade," Smith told the Unemployment Compensation and Modernization Council.

Smith said auditors also found that Ohio spends almost five times more than its closest peer state did on the administration of unemployment compensation claims, and that anti-fraud changes to stop scammers should have come earlier.

Among the report’s recommendations is a way for people to check claims online to reduce calls.

An audit focused on fraud will come out in a few weeks.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at
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