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Have compassion in collection demand of compensation error

About 48,000 Ohioans who received more unemployment benefits than they were entitled to may have to repay the money, state officials say.

Often in such cases, overpayments result from claimants failing to report money they received while collecting benefits. Where flagrant, substantial abuse of that sort has occurred, of course the state should go after money obtained under false pretenses.

But where amounts are small and honest mistakes were to blame, we suggest a lenient approach. Also consider that during the COVID-19 outbreak, many people with no prior experience collecting unemployment benefits had to seek them. Mistakes will be made. And sometimes, yes, claimants worried about putting food on the table will fudge their filings a bit.

Except when clear intent of wrongdoing can be established, state officials should display some compassion.

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