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Fraudulent Unemployment Comp Claims Nearly Double

Fraudulent unemployment compensation payments in Ohio have steadily increased since 2006. WOSU reports on the efforts to combat the problem. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services recovered almost $10 million worth of false claims issued last year - nearly double the amount five years ago. The department has stepped up efforts to identify fraud. Spokesman Ben Johnson said it cross references with the department of child support and other agencies for possible false claims. "The primary source of fraud is that people go on unemployment legitimately. And then don't notify us and come off the system when appropriate. And because there are more people coming on it would not be surprising to learn that it's a larger problem when people are not coming off when they should," Johnson said. In 2006, about $6 million in fraudulent claims was recovered. By 2009, at the height of the recession, the amount of false payments had doubled. Johnson added the department does not think fraudulent claims are a widespread problem. Of the $5 billion in state and federal unemployment compensation payments distributed last year in Ohio less than one percent were due to false claims. Recovered funds will be returned to the state Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund.