Ohio Unemployment Eligibility
For Ohio residents who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, unemployment insurance benefits provide temporary financial assistance while workers search for new employment. If you’ve recently lost work and think you might be eligible for Ohio unemployment insurance benefits, it’s important to understand the initial and ongoing eligibility requirements that allow you to collect UI benefits.
Ohio Unemployment Eligibility Calculator
Are you willing and able to work?
How did you lose your previous job?
Have you been affected by coronavirus?
Were you offered telework with pay by your employer?
Were you fired for no fault of your own?
Did you quit your last job due to unsafe working conditions, not being paid, discrimination and / or health and safety risks?
Do you have paid medical leave?
Do you have a family member you are caring for?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
Do you have paid family leave?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
Ohio employment eligibility requirements
To be found eligible for Ohio unemployment insurance benefits, claimants are required to meet several different criteria. First, you must show that you are either totally or partially unemployed when you submit your claim. This means that you can be eligible for Ohio unemployment compensation even if you are still working some hours. For example, if your employer reduces your work hours and you earn less than the unemployment benefit amount, you may still be eligible for benefits.
In order for your Ohio unemployment application to be approved, you must have worked a minimum of 20 weeks in what is known as your base period. Ohio defines a base period as the first four of the last five calendar quarters before you file your unemployment claim.
In addition, your claim should show that during these 20 weeks, you worked for an employer who paid unemployment tax on your behalf, and that you earned a minimum level of income during the base period. For 2023, a claimant in Ohio must have earned an average weekly wage of at least $315 (before taxes or other deductions) during the base period. This wage requirement changes from year to year, and it applies to the year in which you file your benefits application instead of the year in which you worked.
Here’s another important point: Ohio also recognizes an alternate base period. If you worked less than the minimum 20 weeks of covered employment, or if your average weekly earnings were below the required minimum earnings when using the regular base period, the alternate base period may be used to determine your benefits eligibility. In Ohio, the alternate base period is simply the last four completed calendar quarters before you file your claim.
You must show that you lost your job through no fault of your own, such as a layoff, company downsizing, or reduction in force. Your employer needs to verify this claim as well for your unemployment benefits claim to be approved.
In some cases, you may be eligible for Ohio unemployment benefits even if you quit your job. For a claimant to be successful in this type of situation, they must show that they quit for a good cause.
In Ohio, there are several reasons you can quit your job and still qualify for benefits. For example, if you can show that your former employer created a hostile work environment that was harmful to your physical or mental health and forced you to quit, this can be considered “good cause” in Ohio.
Other “good cause” reasons for quitting include:
- Your former employer failed to provide safety measures that they are required by law to provide
- Your former employer failed to hold up the terms of your employment agreement
- Your former employer violated widely accepted legal or moral standards
Please note: The legal threshold under Ohio employment law that determines whether an employee quit with good cause is based on whether the same action would be taken by an ordinarily careful person under similar circumstances.
What disqualifies you from unemployment in Ohio?
Claims for Ohio unemployment benefits may be denied for a wide selection of reasons. One of the most common is that the state finds that a claimant did not become unemployed through no fault of their own.
A disqualification typically happens when a claimant is discharged or fired because of misconduct – this may include violating company policies or rules, disregarding the employer’s best interests, poorly performing work duties, or neglecting job responsibilities. In any of these cases, it’s unlikely that an unemployment claim would be approved. Claimants who are unemployed because of labor disputes will also be disqualified from collecting unemployment compensation while the dispute is active.
Ongoing eligibility requirements
Once your initial claim for Ohio unemployment benefits has been approved, you will need to meet certain requirements for every week you claim unemployment compensation. You must submit a weekly claim outlining all of your work search activity to ensure that you remain compliant with Ohio unemployment work search requirements and other eligibility criteria. You must report any earnings from work you performed on a part-time, freelance, or independent contractor basis and how much you earned while doing so. You will be asked a series of questions when filing your weekly claim, and you should answer each one thoroughly and accurately to avoid accusations of Ohio unemployment fraud.
When reporting your work search activities, you will need to submit documentation that includes the employer’s name and address, the method you used to apply for work, the specific type of work you applied for, the date of each contact, and the outcome of each contact you made.
You must provide documentation of your good faith effort to find a new job every time you file a weekly claim. Please note that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services may follow up with employers on your list to verify that you applied for work, so it’s important to be completely accurate in what you submit for each qualifying week.
You must also confirm your ability to work – being able and willing to accept suitable work when offered is a key factor in maintaining your eligibility. In Ohio, to be considered available for work, you must be ready and willing to work any shift of any job that matches your previous training and experience. If you block out certain hours, payment rates, or conditions of employment that limit your chances of finding a new job, you may be ineligible for unemployment benefits.
Please note that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services requires claimants to submit their weekly claims no later than 21 days after the Sunday of the week being claimed. If you are later than this in submitting your claim, it will likely not be approved.
What to do if you don’t qualify
It’s fairly common for an Ohio unemployment benefits claim to be denied. If that happens to you, there are steps you can take to have your claim reviewed again. First, you’ll need to file an appeal within 21 days of receiving the notification that your claim was denied. You must submit your appeal request in writing. Instructions will be included in your denial notice.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services then has 21 calendar days from the date your appeal is received either to issue a redetermination decision or to refer the appeal to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC).
What if I am fired?
Employees who have been discharged for “just cause” (misconduct) with regard to employment are not qualified to unemployment insurance benefits. Hence, if you have been fired for misconduct, then you will not be eligible to receive any unemployment compensation benefits.
On the other hand, if you are fired for reasons that do not rise to the level of misconduct, will usually be eligible to collect unemployment compensation benefits for the resulting period of unemployment.
I was laid off. What is my eligibility status?
Ohio considers being laid off from a job as being unemployed through no mistake of your own. However, you must have been working for at least 20 weeks of the preceding 52 weeks. You must also have made an average of at least $261 a week.
You must also work for an employer who is required to pay unemployment insurance; most employers are needed to contribute. The Ohio Office of Unemployment Compensation will need your previous employer to confirm you were laid off.
I am planning to quit my job for a certain reason. Can I get Ohio unemployment?
Generally, if you quit your job, you are not qualified to collect unemployment benefits unless you quit for a good cause. “Cause” here means some occasion or situation that would lead a sensible employee in that incident to quit.
The situation has to be pretty bad, for example, intolerable working conditions before you are right in quitting. Usually, you must give your employer the chance to correct the unbearable condition. Likewise, in a unionized setting, you can look for the help of your union in correcting the situation.
However, you should still apply for benefits, because the state may agree that you had good cause to quit. In any event, you have nothing to miss by applying.
Want to know about how much you will receive? —–>Calculate your benefits here