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Ohio Unemployment Eligibility

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

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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).

Eligibility Questions

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

  1. Our employer is Ohio has made the Covid vaccine mandatory, and any manager that does not take the vaccine by August 24th will be terminated. The question was asked to HR if the company will fight unemployment claims for those that decide not to get vaccinated.
    The response was that the company would code these terminations as “voluntary terminations”, and those are generally not covered by unemployment, but they would encourage people to still apply and “see what happens”.
    Is this legal to code this as a “voluntary” termination? The employees would like to stay with the company, but are being terminated for not getting the vaccine

  2. My job is laying off due the coronavirus but they are asking for volunteers first before making a final decision. If I volunteer to be laid off, am I still eligible for unemployment benefits?

    • Your state has activated the ‘emergency funding’ program authorized by the federal government. We recommend you to apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official website.

  3. I currently work 2 jobs to support a family of 6. I have a full time job for a co-op position for college and a part time job I work on the weekends as a server/bartender. Because of the coronavirus outbreak here in Ohio, the restaurant I work at is closing indefinitely. I only work about 10-15 hours per week at the restaurant but it still provides me 25%-50% of my income. Am I able to file unemployment for this? I will not be making enough money in my full time co-op job to pay my bills and provide food for my family.

    • Ben,

      We can understand your situation. Please call the Unemployment Office to know the availability of emergency funds considering the Coronavirus outbreak.

      • My company informed us last night they where cutting our hourly pay. My hours have dropped from roughly 42 to 45 hours a week to 28 to 29 and we are facing layoffs although no one knows when. Is there anything that is offered that I can apply for? Thank you

      • I have been trying to find out if I can file for benefits under the new changes to the unemployment regulations due to the Coronavirus outbreak. I am an independent contractor who teaches functional training, life skill and fitness to Senior citizens. The two Senior Centers I work at were closed on 3/13/2020. I have tried calling and after going through the entire menu, I get a recording that says to hang up and go online. That doesn’t help me as there is no info online about independent contractors in my situation. Can you help?

        • Mary,

          Please visit the Unemployment Office’s website. Your state should have activated emergency unemployment benefits in the backdrop of the COVID-19 situation.

  4. My hours were recently reduced from 32hrs (paid for 44hrs due to two weekend shifts paid at a premium) down to 20 hours (paid for 20 hrs due to the loss of one weekend shift, which made the other shift ineligible for premium pay). Even though I am still employed, I am now at part time and making a fraction of what I made before. Would I be eligible for partial unemployment? Or if I were to resign (the company is far for me and now no longer worth the drive, childcare, etc), would I be eligible? Working for Nonprofit Co. in Ohio.

  5. My manager sat me down and said we are letting you go because we don’t have enough pts for 2assistants.You are not fired, you are laid of on the 18th of this month. We want to offer you PRN work if there is any. Or you can file unemployment we won’t contest. I asked for paperwork but they told me I didn’t need any. I want to trust them but I don’t. What do I ask for so I can present it to unemployment. Thanks.

  6. We decided to try to sell our home and move out of state to help our aging parents. Hoise has been on the market and we had one offer that fell through. Employer decided to go ahead and hire replacement and let me train them for 30 days then I’m out of a job and my house hasn’t sold. Can I get unemployment?

    • Missy,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  7. I gave my notice today because the company hired a new GM recently. I applied for the position but was denied. They told this person that I had applied and when he talked to me told me this and also told me that unforome being a woman I would have a difficult time being in a managers position and that I need to work harder and be aggressive before I could even be considered for a position as a manager in my store. I have been there for over six years and know more than my current managers not only about our product but clientele and how our computers work. Would I be eliofor unemployment because of this. This new GM also has an issue with another female cashier and the owner pretty mush swept it under the rug as well

  8. If my spouse is transferred to a new job and I have to quit my job to accomodate hers ,am I elgible for unemployment? I have been at the same job #or nearly 20 years.

    • If I was fired for going to a doctors appointment and have a doctors excuse, would I still be eligible to draw off my existing claim opened at the beginning of this year?

      • Ryan,

        If you were asked to leave due to trivial issues, you can be eligible to claim. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for clarification.

    • David,

      You might be eligible for unemployment benefits as a ‘trailing spouse’. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification before applying.

  9. Could i quit my job to be a stay at home dad for a few month’s to enable my fiance to travel to a new job with better pay and get settled in so i can work around her schedule and collect unemployment?

    • Derrick,

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  10. I have been working for this company for over a year, I got promoted to a boss for the company with a pay raise. I have been doing this job as a boss for a few months now. Today I was informed that the position I had was going to be eliminated and they want to put me back as a driver and still do the duties that I was doing as a boss with less pay. I told them I would drive but for the same money I was making as the boss if I am doing the same job. they said no, so i quit. Can I collect unemployment.

    • Raymond,

      You might or not be eligible. It depends on how your state perceives your employment exit. Please call the Office to confirm before making an application.

  11. My ex-husband claimed my children on his unemployment benefits. He does pay child support. My kids live with me, I am the residential, custodial parent and my kids do 1 hour per week supervised visitation at a monitored facility.
    Is he allowed to claim the children as dependants?

  12. I am currently at a job where when I started and accepted the job that it was 4 10 hour days. About 2 or 3 weeks ago it changed to 12 hour days without notice. While that in itself is not that bad, they have repeatedly called me in on days off with little or no warning leaving me and my girlfriend scrambling to find a sitter for our daughter. After the 4th time I have had enough and am about to quit.
    The working conditions are also unhealthy as there are large sections of floor that is covered in black mold, the bathrooms are unclean and the general condition of the building would lead OSHA and health inspectors to have an absolute field day.

    • Joe,

      You can be eligible to quit and claim under “Hostile” working conditions. Firstly, you have to establish eligibility based on multiple factors. Please start by calling the Unemployment Office in your state before making a decision on your employment.

  13. My company moved out of the state of Ohio. They offered some people a move package and others a severance. Some received severance after they declined the moving package. I declined the moving package but was told there is no severance for me because they thought I was moving with them.
    Am I eligible for unemployment.
    Is this discrimination?

    • Fillis,

      This is strange! If they committed one of them as a separation package, they should provide. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for a detailed discussion.

  14. I have been a productive, full time employee for 2.5 years. If my company fires me for going to jail for 20 days (non-related work offense), can I get unemployment when I get out until I find another job?

    • Gary,

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  15. If I would only worked 19 weeks in the state of Ohio, would I still be able to qualify for unemployment.

    • I’m currently on medical disability for anxiety and depression due to my position with work. My therapist states that the job I’ve been at for over 20 years is the trigger and some of what is causing my issues. If I step down, would I be eligible for unemployment?

      • Leslie,

        Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

    • Brian,

      To be eligible, the claimant is required to have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

  16. I was recently terminated from a position due to lack of confidence in giving presentations, not grasping internal computer processes, and basically not understanding the job. What constitutes Gross Misconduct in the state of Ohio.

    • Lisa,

      Voluntary reasons such as performance issues are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  17. recently received ultimatum from VP of sales……”Resign or be put on 30 day program you won’t be able to meet anyway”. They offered me 2 weeks severance if I quit. I said I can’t quit, but it’s not fair to put me on a program you know I won’t meet (sales target). I met with HR who was unaware VP said this to me. HR told me not to worry and that they would not CONTEST this with unemployment. I did NOT officially send any email or sign any document saying I quit. I left the office, received 2 weeks severance and applied for unemployment. It was denied twice, because the employer DID contest this and told them I quit. I have appeal hearing tomorrow. Do I have any chance here? Ron

    • Ron,

      You will have a chance only if you make a strong case and present facts and paperwork. Please prepare and best wishes!

  18. I recently went to jail and while in jail the company I worked for merged and was taken over by another company I worked there for 9 months and was one of the best their. I was fired because they couldn’t hold my position, and filled it thus; terminating my employment. I worked there almost nine months in Cleveland Ohio. What do I do, and can I file?

    • I am not sure if you will be eligible to claim for employment from the jail.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to inquire further.

  19. I have a part time job working 16 to 20 hours a week. During the last 3 months, my hours have been cut, now only 4 and half hours per week. Can I get unemployment benefits?

    • Please check with the local Unemployment Office to check about eligibility and apply accordingly.

  20. I’ve worked overseas for a US Govt Contractor for the last 25 years and will be laid off in a couple of weeks. I am a homeowner in Ohio and plan on moving back there. Will I be able to draw Unemployment if I move back to Ohio?

    • If your employer remitted the relevant taxes to the U.S govt., you can be eligible to claim Unemployment Compensation.

      Please find out if they did and apply accordingly when you return.

  21. What constitutes good cause for leaving a work place? If not a union based company how do you resolve a situation that has been placed as an absolute decision?

    • This is a tricky question. There are multiple reasons that are accepted.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  22. My brother is a truck driver who has been forced to go from hourly to percentage with no dominating factor to base it on. Also, they are forcing him to move to another location in the same state. Does he have a right to leave and file for unemployment?

    • A citizen can be eligible to quit and claim under such circumstances. Please ask your brother to call the Unemployment Office before making a decision on the employment front.

    • Well, I don’t think it will have a bearing.

      To be on a safer side, please call the Claims Center and let them know about this income.

  23. My husband and I are relocating to another’s state,, If I quit my job of 15 years will I be eligible for unemployment benifits?

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  24. I just buy my semi truck leasing for fed ex after 2 weeks my truck blew up I cant afford to fix it and I have to pay monthly bank payments for this truck and rent plus bills .am I qualify for any benefits in ohio if so so what kind .

    • Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office by calling them. Not sure of your eligibility.

  25. ok i am laid off i worked full time for 29 years when i quit to move out of state for another job that job was through an employment agency it lasted almost 3 months since then i moved back to Ohio and have worked for 2 different companies the last one laid me off after a month and a half wondering how that affects any unemployment benefits

    • If you’ve have employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters and the reason for separation from the immediate previous job was anything but voluntary, you can be eligible.

  26. I’am 62 getting unempolyment I’am going to file for S.S.will this change me unempolyment. I’am going to keep working if I can find work even after my S.S.starts. Thanks

    • It may have a bearing on the Unemployment Compensation received.

      Please check with the labor authorities in your state.

  27. If a 9 year full-time employee is reduced to part-time can they receive unemployment benefits? I think some of the full-time employees at my job may be reduced to part-time.

    • If the reduction is due to involuntary reasons, please speak the labor authorities in your state and apply accordingly.

  28. I recently received a notification received in my correspondence Inbox received on 23-DEC-2015 titled “NOTICE OF ELIGIBILITY ISSUE“ The notification conveyed “On 12/22/2015 ,the following eligibility issue was raised: No longer unemployed – New Hire (RTW), the source of the issue is Cross Match, this issue may affect your unemployment benefits beginning on 12/20/2015.

    The statement of me being no longer being unemployed is an error. I am suspecting it is related to inaccurate paperwork filed by the company I was laid off from. The notification and following questions I responded to indicated I was employed by another company that no longer exists but was bought out in Nov 2000. I had reported to a manager from the location of the bought out company in 2002. However, the name of the company bought out fell under the name of the company I was employed with until recently.

    I had been receiving unemployment Benefits up through 24-DEC-2015. However, I did not receive unemployment for 28-DEC-2015. I have completed the questions prompted to be completed from the notification indicating that I was still unemployed and had not been hired by the company previously bought out in November 2000 my previous employer. I have also requested Fact Finding Interview with regards to the notification I received. These were both done by the deadline indicated in the notification. Additionally, I have contacted my prior employer asking they correct the error in employment status if the error was sourced through them. Lastly I have made several attempts to speak with someone from my designated unemployment processing center but have not made any progress in talking with a liver person.

    What other things can I do to have this addressed and understand why the lack of payment for the one week. Is this a matter of poor timing due to the holidays and the Ohio unemployment office is simply just behind processing claims and following up requested Fact Finding Interview.

    Thank You for any response on this matter, John

    • Please try finding other phone numbers on the official website or see if you can visit an office in your locality for assistance. If there is a dispute from your employer, they may decide to stop processing your claims.

      If need be, ask for an adjudicator. Best Wishes!

  29. I worked from June 1 thru December 11, 2015 (28 weeks). Applied for unemployment but was denied. They looked at alternate base period from Oct 2014 thru Sept 2015-I do not have 20 weeks worked in this period. First time for unemployment-I can appeal the denial. Am I entitled or not?

    • Generally, voluntary reasons are not considered. You may not qualify.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  30. We are in the process of closing our business. One of our employees has been offered other jobs but has not accepted any and told coworkers he thinks he’ll just stay home and collect unemployment for awhile. Can his unemployment claim be denied since he’s choosing not to accept job offers?

    • That is correct. Denying relevant jobs can result in suspension of claim payments.

      Please report this matter to the Unemployment Office in your state.

  31. I was not given a supervisor job that I have been performing for months. Now my company wants me to train the new supervisor and I don’t want to seems unfair to me. I want to resign or I might get fired for refusing to train him. Can I possibly collect unemployment?

    • It may be considered voluntary making you ineligible to receive unemployment compensation.

      Please check with the unemployment office in your state.

  32. I worked in a laboratory at Case Western University for two years under separate one year contracts. The second year it was not renewed. It was a verbally bullying environment not conducive to my well being. I did not want to continue working there and my boss also thought it the right decision to not renew. Would this qualify?

    • Generally, contracted employees do not qualify to receive UI benefits. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  33. I was receiving unemployment benefits. I obtained a job but left after 2 days because it was requiring me to move. Can I still get benefits under my current unemployment.

    • I guess you should be able to without any hassles.

      Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

    • Unemployment insurance is only extended to those who are laid off for involuntary reasons. You may not qualify.

      Please check further with the labor authorities in your state.

  34. Have been at my job for 11 yes, they want to reduce my pay will I be eligible ? They have not given me opportunity in the past to learn what apparently they need me to know immediately and not sure if it can happen when they want it

  35. My boss is saying she is going to close. I have been there a little over 2 years. I work 30 hrs a week and get paid 6.50 an hour. If she goes under I can’t apply to help my family???

  36. Im an owner operator truck driver, I was leased to a company in Cols, but my truck blew up and I dont have the money to fix it, my Identity was stolen and someone else filed taxes under my SS#, so now the IRS wont process my taxes for 180 days and I have no income to help support my family

    • I can understand your problem.However, self employment is generally not considered as a qualifier.

      Please research for other benefits your state has to offer that suits your condition.

  37. I s a laid-off hospice chaplain eligible to collect unemplyment benefits when he/she meets all of the other qualifications?

    • I am not sure in the case as UI compensation is generally extended to citizens who are on rolls of a company as the employers would have paid taxes towards the UI program.

      Please speak to the customer service of the labor dept in Ohio for more details regarding this.

  38. I work part time about 24 hours a week. The company I work for is starting to lay off. Would I be able to draw unemployment with only working part time. I was full time until this past year.

    • Yes,you can.Part time workers are eligible for UI compensation.Please read this page to learn more about other eligibility factors before you decide to file.

  39. My son moved to Ohio approximately 1 year ago. He has not been able to find a job and has therefore taken odd jobs for cash when he could get them. He still has not been able to find a job and needs help to pay his rent. Is he eligible for unemployment benefits in Ohio until he can find work please? Thank You

  40. I am a home owner in Ohio but currently live in another state and plan on moving back when my job is complete.Can I open a claim in Ohio if my wages for the past 18 months were earned in another state?

  41. I retired 12/31/21012, I was called back to work part time,
    Can I collect unemployment as now my job has been eliminated
    I am now on Social security
    I had worked for 13 years for the company before retiring



  42. the company I worked for sold and are changing and have eliminated my position. I worked on comission for them for 2yrs. Can I qualify for unemployment? Thank you, Diane

    • Unfortunately most people on commission are not covered by unemployment. HOWEVER I have been wrong before – call the unemployment office – if they have wages recorded on which to base a claim they will assist you. It’s worth a phone call.

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