Ohio Extends Unemployment Benefits up to 20 Weeks

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohioans who have maxed out their regular unemployment benefits and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation may be eligible for up to 20 weeks of extended benefits, reports the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The extension is possible because Ohio’s insured unemployment rate – measure of the number of residents receiving benefits as a percentage of the labor force – exceeded a minimum threshold.

“We will soon begin notifying individuals who may qualify for this additional assistance to instruct them how to apply,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall. “Although high unemployment rates are never welcome news, we are happy that we can offer this extra support for Ohioans who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are having difficulty finding work.”

Regular unemployment benefits max out at 26 weeks, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, allows for 13 weeks of benefits. Residents who exhaust their regular unemployment benefits are potentially eligible for PEUC. If they exhaust PEUC, they may be eligible for the extended benefits.

If they exhaust all three programs, they are potentially eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides up to 39 weeks of benefits. PUA is available to those who typically don’t qualify for unemployment, such as self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers, part-time workers and those who lack sufficient work history.

No additional extended benefits are available to those who exhaust PUA benefits, which will be in effect through Dec. 26, 2020, according to a statement from the agency.

On July 2, the agency reported its ninth straight week of declines in jobless claims, reporting 35,623 initial jobless claims for the week ending June 27. Over the last 15 weeks, the department has distributed more than $4.7 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 728,000 Ohioans. The state has also issued more than $3.4 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to more than 378,000 claimants.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.