270k Unemployment Claims on Hold Amid Concerns About Fraud
Social-service advocates say Ohio’s crackdown on fraudulent unemployment claims has hurt people in desperate need for jobless benefits. The state has put a temporary hold on 270,000 claims amid concerns about fraud.
The investigation couldn’t come at a worse time for the unemployed, the advocates say, given the expiration of the extra $600 a week federal benefit.
“It puts people in almost a homeless situation,” said Michelle Wrona Fox, an attorney with Community Legal Aid Services in Youngstown.
“This is not about regular workers collecting unemployment defrauding the unemployment system. They are taking the hits,” said Maurice Emsellem, program director for the National Employment Law Project.
States affected by the fraudulent actions have an obligation to protect taxpayer dollars. Still, they also have to make sure they’re putting sufficient resources into getting people paid as quickly as possible, said Zach Schiller, research director at Policy Matters Ohio.