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News of Unemployment Overpayment Waivers Welcome, but Long Overdue

Waiver Process Needs to Be Watched Carefully
July 9, 2021
Jeffrey A. Crossman News

State Reps. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) issued statements following Thursday’s announcement about an upcoming Unemployment Overpayment Waiver process by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder.

“It is welcome news that the Waiver process will finally be available to thousands of Ohioans who through no fault of their own were put into a tough situation, but we’ve heard this before,” said Rep. Sobecki. “Time after time the waiver has been delayed to next month, and then the next, and so on. It is crucial that the waiver process does indeed launch next week. Many Ohioans are struggling and still rely on Unemployment Compensation to keep afloat, especially now that the supplemental FPUC is gone. Ohioans deserve no more delays and the waivers should be handled as expeditiously as possible.”

“Waiving alleged ‘overpayments’ received by unemployed Ohioans in good faith is obviously welcome news, but also long overdue,” said Rep. Crossman. “The unnecessary delay in creating a waiver process—which we have been demanding for month’s—caused untold hardships and unneeded stress. We hope this announcement is not yet another mirage after months of broken promises to resolve this issue. But our work is not done. More must also be done to fix the state’s broken unemployment system. After years of neglect and disinvestment, the Republican majority has failed Ohioans and demonstrated Ohio will not be ready to protect its workers in the next economic downturn unless massive strides are taken to improve this system.”

Reps. Sobecki and Crossman introduced House Bill (HB) 139 in February to require ODJFS to issue Overpayment Waivers. The bill received only one hearing in committee and the Representatives are disappointed that addressing this issue for Ohioans in need apparently wasn’t a priority for Republican leadership.