© 2022 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Unemployment Benefit Fraud Victim Concerned About Higher Tax Bill

A job application with a pen.

Some victims of unemployment fraud in recent months are starting to worry they will be on the hook to pay taxes for money they didn’t receive.

Medina resident Nate Eppink says he was sitting at his desk at the park district where he works one day last month when his business manager walked in.

“And she looked like she had seen a ghost. And she said, ‘Did you file for unemployment?," Eppink says.

He hadn’t. But it turns out someone stole some of his personal information and filed for unemployment in his name. He’s not alone. Others in the area have also found out their identities are being used to collect unemployment. As the agency continues to pay it, Eppink is concerned.

“I certainly don’t want to end up paying taxes on a benefit I’m not receiving.” Eppink says.

The director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Kim Henderson, acknowledges the problem.

“We do know that fraud is an ongoing issue nationwide in this space,” she says.

Henderson said the agency is taking steps to address unemployment fraud situations.

As for the fallout from stolen identity, she suggests victims of unemployment fraud contact the Ohio Attorney General’s office. She says that office can help out with problems that result from the stolen identity. She doesn't think victims will be liable for taxes on money they didn't receive, but she says the attorney general's office would likely have more information on how to handle that situation.