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ODJFS says 1,000 additional workers will be taking unemployment claim calls, working longer hours to meet demand

Kimberley Hall
Posted at 3:45 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 15:45:55-04

CLEVELAND — Since the beginning of the pandemic when thousands of Ohioans lost their jobs as a result of aggressive measures taken by the state to ease the spread of the coronavirus, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) recognized the frustrations felt by anyone trying to file for unemployment.

"I want to say to every Ohioan that I know you’re are experiencing tremendous pressure and anxiety about your situation, adding to the difficulty is the fact that our system is overwhelmed by the unprecedented inflicted influence of claims and it is moving much slower than it would under normal circumstances," said Director of the ODJFS Kimberly Hall.

During Wednesday briefing with the governor, Hall confirmed there will be 1,000 employees, totaling 2,100 employees, who are taking unemployment claim calls to ease the burden and wait time of those trying to file those claims.

“We are working to meet the needs of workers who have experienced sudden unemployment, businesses, parents who need childcare, and families who need help putting food on the table,” Hall said.

To date, ODJFS has issued $124 million in benefits to 195,000 Ohio residents. Hall said her department is hiring more people, working longer hours and adding capacity to manage unemployment claims.

Beginning this week, recipients enrolled in SNAP will receive an additional payment. Ohio obtained federal approval to waive administrative verifications normally required at food banks to streamline the process and limit person-to-person contact.

More than 22,000 programs have been approved to operate for essential employees.

RELATED: There are 33,641 jobs available from 478 essential employers in Ohio

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