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Unemployed Ohioans with stolen benefits can soon get them back

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 12:45 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Starting Friday, Ohioans who were victims of unemployment account takeovers can begin the process of trying to get that money back, FOX19 Now Investigates has learned.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) says those who believe they were victims of an account takeover should call 1-877-644-6562 to request reimbursement.

An account takeover is a crime where a criminal gains unauthorized access to a legitimate claimant’s account and changes banking information to reroute unemployment benefits away from the victim, the ODJFS.

“Our goal is to ensure victims of account takeovers are made whole,” said ODJFS Director Matt Damschroder.

Once the call is made, the request will result in an affidavit being sent to the individual.

The affidavit will ask individuals to indicate the weeks they did not receive funds.

After completing the affidavit, an individual must sign it in the presence of a licensed notary public, and return it to ODJFS by email, fax, or U.S. mail. A scan or legible photograph of the notarized affidavit will suffice for email submissions.

Damschroder says staff members must individually review and adjudicate each requested week of reimbursement.

Once a determination is made, individuals will be notified of a decision.

If approved, restitution will be made, and if denied, information on appeals rights will be given. ODJFS says there is no estimate on processing time currently.

ODJFS is personally reaching out to 3,100 claimants with account activity with signs of an account takeover.

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