Categories: Policy & Regulation, Unemployment,
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ODJFS will begin taking federal income tax refunds to repay fraudulently filed Unemployment Compensation claims

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has introduced their plans to take a big step towards collecting money owed by claimants who have collected unemployment payments fraudulently. Fraudulent claims have cost Ohio billions of dollars over the years. In 2011 there were $9.4 million in overpayments that included fraud and general overpayments.

When an overpayment is found, a notice is sent to the claimant with an amount that is expected to be paid back to the state agency. When this money is not paid back, the debt is sent on to the Attorney General’s office for collection. In the past, the only action the AG’s office could take would be to garnish State Income Tax refunds, state lottery winnings, or future unemployment claims. As you can imagine, this has not resulted in a rush of money coming back to the state’s UI Trust Fund.

On Monday, 07/09/12, the state of Ohio announced they have decided to allow the confiscation of not only State Income tax returns, but also FEDERAL Income tax returns when a claimant is found to have collected UI benefits fraudulently.

A claimant can be found guilty of fraud whenever they have been paid UI benefits they did not deserve. The most common fraud issues include: continuing to file after returning to work, not reporting part time wages, and even issues involving identity theft or using stolen SSN numbers.

Fraudulently filed claims have been on the rise, given the economic conditions of the last several years. People are resorting to unlawful means to collect any money they can. The Fraud Dept cross-checks employee info based on New Hire Reports as well as employers’ Quarterly Payroll Reports. ODJFS has responded by stepping up their Fraud detection and investigation department in size and scope. Additional team members have been hired, and they have greater access to information.

If you feel you have information regarding someone that is fraudulently filing an unemployment claim you can anonymously report the information by contacting the ODJFS Fraud Division at 800-686-1555, faxing info to 614-752-4808 or online on the new Benefit Payment Control Division website here.

In addition to garnishing income tax refunds, the ODJFS can press charges against anyone found guilty of fraudulently collecting UI payments. Payments totaling more than $500 are considered felony offenses.

Do you feel the ODJFS is taking care of business when it comes to Fraud?

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3 thoughts on “ODJFS will begin taking federal income tax refunds to repay fraudulently filed Unemployment Compensation claims”

  1. Like Ohio BWC they need to quit giving away the money in the first place. Million gone. Stupid.

  2. IMO: Aggressive pursuit of repayment involving outright fraud is reasonable and necessary. However, when a general overpayment occurs—so long as the overpayment was not self-evident by being a grotesquely large amount, I see this as the State of Ohio’s own error and its system should suffer the loss for its own mismanagement.

    Unemployed workers receive their benefits earned according to a formula and system that the state itself created and manages, including dictating the amount of the benefit. If the state errors in this benefit calculation, with no wrong doing by the recipient, then I feel the state should not require repayment—again; so long as the overpayment was not self-evident by being a grotesquely large amount
    .
    I believe this category of repayment [general overpayment] is a relatively new action, it was motivated to reduce expenses, but by shifting the responsibility of its own error to an innocent party it unduly burdens the very citizens this system was created to aid and in doing so is an injustice to all.

  3. I think that they shouldn’t make the mistake of overpayment period, we know how our tax moneys used to settle other peoples debts along with paying to build a war machine, idk exactly what Ohio can do to avoid this 94 billion in US dollars is coming out of economic moneys to fund this kind of stuff

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