Ohio Unemployment

Ohio Implements New Federal Unemployment Program

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Starting today, Ohioans unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic can preregister for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if they didn’t qualify for regular unemployment benefits.

The new federal program covers more categories of workers, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The program, along with the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, are authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES.

“We are thrilled to provide this much-needed assistance to Ohioans unemployed as a result of the pandemic,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall. “I also know that many eligible Ohioans are still waiting to receive benefits, and I am very sorry for the delay. We understand the urgency of providing individuals with the resources they need to support their families. Since mid-March, we have focused on expanding staff support, working longer hours, and partnering with private sector experts to add more technological capacity to our system. We will not rest until all eligible Ohioans are served.”

This week, more than 400,000 unemployment claimants in Ohio began receiving weekly $600 supplements to their regular benefits per the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.

To pre-register for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, visit Unemployment.ohio.gov and click “Get Started Now.”

The benefit amount will be similar to traditional unemployment benefits, plus an additional $600 per week through July 25. The pre-registration tool will allow individuals to get in line early and pre-register their account, so that as soon as the agency has the technical ability to process their claims in May, they can log in and complete their paperwork.

For those eligible, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits will be retroactive to the date they qualified, as early as February 2. The program will provide up to 39 weeks of benefits to many who historically have not qualified for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers, part-time workers and those who lack sufficient work history. Individuals who have exhausted all regular unemployment and any weekly extensions also may be eligible for the program. Anyone with questions should call 833 604 0774.

On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced for the week ending April 18, it received 109,369 jobless claims, bringing the total of initial jobless claims filed over the last five weeks to 964,566.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.