More than $2 billion paid in Ohio unemployment claims; 100,000 still waiting

Ohio

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has paid out more than $2 billion to nearly 600,000 Ohioans who have filed for unemployment. Husted made this announcement during Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing and also shared his thoughts on dealing with the unprecedented unemployment situation due to COVID-19.

“The topic [of unemployment] has been the most frustrating for all of us,” Husted said. “I certainly empathize with somebody who is in a difficult financial situation, can’t get through on a phone call, can’t get an answer and doesn’t know where their claim may be in the process.”

Gov. DeWine echoed Husted’s sentiments.

“We’re very, very sorry. We have some understanding of what people are going through,” Gov. DeWine said. “I get calls, messages from people who describe what they’re going through and that’s how we can understand that.”

Husted added the state has made several enhancements, including more than 1,600 people working on the unemployment call center and building out the unemployment website. But he added he knows the system is still not working at the level needed for the ongoing unemployment issue.

“Our system is a very old one and it is hard to update while this is all going on,” Husted said. “There are at least 100,000 people who don’t have answers that have qualified and haven’t received money yet and I still know that there are people out there whose calls have not been heard.”

Husted went on to say he’s keenly aware of the issues still at hand.

“I can promise you that the director [Kim Hall] and everybody at the Department of Job and Family Services has been helpful and everybody is aware of this,” Husted said. “We’re working everyday to make it better.”

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