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Leader Sykes statement on unemployment overpayment waivers

July 9, 2021
Democratic Newsroom

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement following the announcement that Ohioans who were overpaid unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic will be eligible for a waiver to avoid costly repayments. Ohioans who saw their benefits stolen by scammers will also be eligible for replacement payments. 

“Our unemployment system is broken. We saw that on full display when thousands of Ohioans waited weeks and even months during the height of the pandemic to receive the benefits they paid into. With many Ohioans continuing to struggle to find work, make rent, or pay their bills, the last thing the state should do is pile on more burdens by forcing people to pay back overpayments they received through no fault of their own or be penalized due to a poor system that allowed fraud to run rampant,” said Leader Sykes. “Democrats have long called for these waivers and funding for individuals and families who were victims of fraud, and our members will work with our constituents to make sure they are made whole.”

Thousands of Ohioans received overpayments because of errors made by state officials or employers during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. 

House Democrats introduced House Bill 139 earlier this year to require the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to waive unemployment overpayment collection.