COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said the state saw 44,985 jobless claims filed during the week ending with April 3.
ODJFS said approximately 3,700 of those claims have been flagged for potential fraud.
The amount of claims filed last week is a drop from the more than 154,000 filed the week ending with March 27.
ODJFS said it has seen a significant number of claims that could be fraudulent for weeks.
ODJFS said all claims will be reviewed, which will lead to delays in processing legitimate claims.
More than 280,000 continued unemployment claims were filed and more than 94,000 people received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance last week.
More than three million claims have been filed in Ohio in the past 54 weeks.
The numbers announced pushed total unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic to 3,197,646, which is more than the combined total from 2013-2019.
The state says it has now distributed more than $9.3 billion in unemployment checks to more than 981,000 claimants.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has also paid out more than $10 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to more than 1 million claimants.
ODJFS said in a release, "Anyone who suspects their identity was compromised and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim is urged to report it to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) immediately by visiting unemployment.ohio.gov, clicking the “Report Identity Theft” button, and following the instructions. As an alternative, individuals also may call (833) 658-0394."
ODJFS released the following statement, information, and resources:
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services urges individuals to file their claims online, if possible, at unemployment.ohio.gov. Each claim is important to us, and we recognize the hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on many Ohio families. We have been working around the clock to streamline performance and boost capacity by adding servers so the online claims system can handle the unprecedented influx of claims, which has affected processing times.
It's important to keep in mind that during previous downturns in the economy, claims came in waves as the recession worsened and industries began to shut down whereas these claims came in all at once and created a tsunami. This amount of claims in this short expanse of time would tax any online system, especially one that is 16 years old. It’s also important to note that unemployment insurance automated systems around the country are also struggling with the increased claims load.
Helpful FAQ Sheets
General Information: jfs.ohio.gov/unemp_comp_faq/index.stm
Coronavirus-Specific Information: jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm
Call Center Hours
Those without internet access or who have case-specific questions can call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.
You no longer need to include a mass layoff number, If you submitted your application previously and did not include a mass layoff number, your claim will still be processed and there is no need to adjust your application.
Additional coverage from 10TV:
- Husted: Thousands of jobs posted by employers on state's website
- Self-employed, part-time Ohio workers can get jobless aid
- Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Director answers questions about unemployment
- 10TV is also partnering with the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, Ohio Means Jobs, One Columbus and the city Chamber of Commerce for virtual hiring events. You can register by clicking here.