DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Newly filed unemployment claims are up as payout requirements change for those using direct deposit.

According to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services (ODJFS), 6,928 unemployment claims were filed between Nov. 5 and Nov. 11. This is an increase from 6,464 the previous week.

Of the claims filed, 1,940 of those have been flagged to ensure they are not fraudulent, something that officials continue to work against. Continued unemployment claims were down at 37,954 claims compared to 38,116 last week.

An important update was announced on Thursday, Nov. 16 by ODJFS.

Director Matt Damschroder stated that those applying for unemployment benefits who would like to be paid by direct deposit must use a bank with a physical office in Ohio.

This requirement is the result of Senate Bill 302, passed by the General Assembly and signed by
Gov. Mike DeWine signed earlier this year. The bill was created in an effort to further deter fraud.

“When individuals apply for unemployment benefits, they choose how they would like to receive payment: typically, either through direct deposit into their checking account or on a prepaid debit card,” Damschroder said. “Starting today, if their bank doesn’t have a physical office in Ohio, they must be paid by debit card.”

Ohio’s prepaid debit card for unemployment benefits is called the U.S. Bank ReliaCard. It can be used to make purchases, get cash, and pay bills everywhere the U.S. Bank ReliaCard is accepted.

This requirement will primarily affect new applicants, not existing claimants. However, if existing claimants renew a claim, open an additional claim, or update the information on their claim, this requirement will apply to them, too.