Overpaid jobless benefits? Here’s what to do

FILE
FILE

If you’ve received a notice from the state of Ohio that you have been paid “too much” in unemployment benefits, here’s the first thing you shouldn’t do:

Panic.

Here’s the first thing you should do: Examine your options.

And those options are pretty straightforward.

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1. Visit

Ohioans who receive overpayment notices can visit https://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/RepayOverpayment.stm to pay or reimburse what the state says you owe by bank draft, credit card or mail.

2. Call.

If you have questions about the situation, you can call (614) 995-5691, option No. 3.

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3. Ask questions.

These things happen. In most cases, overpayments are the result of claimants not reporting or underreporting earnings during the week claimed, according to Tom Betti, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS),

A smaller subset of overpayments are the result of mistakes made by state staff who have been working to deal with the massive influx of benefits claims since late March. The state is not requiring repayment in those instances, Betti said.

I asked if the state was taking those who have been overpaid to court in some instances.

I did not get a straight “yes or “no” answer, but ODJFS spokesman Bret Crow told me, “Future benefits may be offset to recoup the overpayment and/or collection methods utilized."

4. If necessary, appeal.

Ohioans who believe they were sent notices in error can appeal their cases, Betti said. They have 21 days to file their appeal online, via fax or through mail from the date the notice was sent.

Instructions on how to file an appeal are included in the notice they receive.