Ben Asks a Question: Why can't I reach a person on the phone about unemployment?

DeWine: 'We're working on it every single day'
Posted at 6:05 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 18:05:27-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine hints toward the state beginning to re-open on May 1st, many Ohioans are still without income for the time being -- and many of those people are not even able to find a person to speak with about receiving unemployment benefits.

WCPO viewers have continued to send in questions regarding unemployment, including Jeanette Hill -- who asked me to alert the administration that Ohioans have been disconnected while on the phone, waiting to talk to someone about unemployment.

Ben Asks a Question is a feature we started as a way to help give you a voice during Gov. Mike DeWine's daily press briefings. Since then, Ben has gotten hundreds of questions a day. If you'd like to ask a question, find us on Facebook and feel free to message us there, or send us an email at

Lt. Gov. Husted, who has overseen the DeWine administration’s unemployment response during the COVID-19 pandemic, was not present at DeWine’s press briefing Thursday, so DeWine briefly answered my question for the day.

DeWine began by saying the issue “bothers me a lot.” He continued to assure Ohioans that his administration is working on a fix.

“The only thing I can tell you, Ben, is that we’re looking at it,” said DeWine. “We’re rolling up our sleeves and working on it every single day. So again, I apologize.”

At the end of his short response, DeWine made an apology directed at Hill, who sent in today’s question.

“You always have listeners and they always have great questions,” said DeWine. “So again, I apologize to the person who called in.”

Last week, more than 150,000 Ohioans filed unemployment claims.