Help Combat Unemployment Fraud

Date: May 03, 2021

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) knows identity theft and unemployment fraud continue to be challenging to businesses in the state. They appreciate your efforts as a small business owner to report identity theft to ODJFS, so they can stop payment and take other needed actions.

ODJFS has recently posted a link on their website https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/ with examples of documents individuals may receive that could indicate that they are a victim of identity theft.

Here’s what you can do:

Step One: Report identity theft through the ODJFS hotline or website.

If you receive an unemployment notification from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services regarding someone you don’t know, please notify us as soon as possible by calling our hotline at (833) 658-0394.

If you would like to report identity theft involving one or more of your employees, you can either use the hotline or complete this secure online form. If you use the online form, you will be prompted to download an Excel template, enter the requested data in the template (including your employees’ full Social Security numbers), and upload the file as instructed.

Step Two: Continue to respond to any “Request for Separation Information” notices that you receive from ODJFS.

Please respond timely to these notices and write “fraud/identity theft” on them so that we can investigate the claims and take appropriate actions. The most expedient way for employers to respond to Request for Separation forms is by responding via your online account or by using the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) portal.

Step Three: Share resources with your employees.

Please share the resources for individuals on this website with the employees at your organization. This web page includes a link to the IRS guidance regarding identity theft involving unemployment benefits and other measures individuals can take to protect themselves.

Step Four: Protect Your Identity 
Many resources are available for victims of identity theft to help them protect their identities. ODJFS strongly urges anyone who suspects they may be a victim of identity theft to take appropriate action to protect themselves. Here are some resources they recommend:

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Q: How can I check to see if my identity was stolen?

A: The best way to learn whether your personal information has been compromised is to check your credit report. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Q: If I receive a mailing from ODJFS to my address but with another person’s name on the envelope, what should I do?

A: Please mark “return to sender” on the envelope and return it to us through the mail.

Q: I received a 1099-G from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, but I never applied for unemployment in 2020.

A: Please file a report to ODJFS here. After you submit a report, we will process it, conduct an investigation and, if necessary, issue a correction to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We also recommend that you review the resources recommended in Step Three, above, to protect yourself.

Q: Will I be responsible for paying taxes on benefits I never received?

A: No, you will not. When you file your income taxes, you should report only the income you actually received. Do not wait to receive a correct 1099 form to file your taxes. If you already filed your taxes, do not file an amended return. The IRS will issue additional guidance regarding your next steps. Refer to the Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits page at IRS.gov for updates and additional tax filing information.

Q: The Department of Labor’s website for victims of unemployment fraud says to report identity theft not only to your state’s unemployment office but also to the Department of Justice. Should I report there, too?

A: Yes, you can if you wish. Reporting to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud can help law enforcement stop future unemployment identity theft. Filing a report with the National Center for Disaster Fraud also will notify the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, which is the primary agency responsible for investigating unemployment fraud. You may not receive a response back after submitting this information.

Q: I received a 1099 form stating that I received unemployment benefits in a state other than Ohio. Can your office still help me?

A: Unfortunately, we can only help with claims filed in Ohio. Please contact the unemployment office that issued you the form.

Q: I received a PIN number from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services but did not request one. What should I do?

A: Please file a report to ODJFS here. After you submit a report, we will process it and conduct an investigation. We also recommend that you review the resources recommended in Step Three, above, to protect yourself.

Q: I already reported that my identity was stolen and used to file an Ohio unemployment claim. Why did I still receive a 1099?

A: We are working as quickly as we can to process a record number of fraudulent unemployment claims. Even if you previously reported unemployment fraud, please complete this online form. We will then send you a confirmation email with resources for victims of identity theft, process your report, conduct an investigation and, if necessary, issue a correction to the IRS.

Q: I received a notification from ODJFS implying that I am an employer, and I’m not. What should I do?

A: Please call our fraud hotline as soon as possible: (833) 658-0394. Also be sure to review the resources recommended in Step Three, above, to protect yourself.

Q: I submitted a report through the “Report Identity Theft” portal but didn’t get a confirmation email in response. What should I do?

A: You will receive a confirmation email, but there may be a brief delay. Please do not submit another report. Thank you for your patience.

Q: When can I expect to receive a corrected 1099-G form?

A: The high volume of requests is slowing processing times, but you do not need a corrected 1099-G form from the unemployment office to file your taxes. When you file your income taxes, you should report only the income you actually received. Do not wait to receive a correct 1099 form to file your taxes. Refer to the Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits page at IRS.gov for updates and additional tax filing information. Note that the third federal stimulus package waives federal income taxes on up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits for eligible individuals who earn less than $150,000 a year.

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