Ohio Unemployment Extension
Unemployed Ohioans making their weekly claims can find some temporary assistance to replace their lost wages. However, traditional unemployment benefits only last for 26 weeks. But what about unemployed workers who need an Ohio unemployment extension?
Today, there are no unemployment benefit extensions available in Ohio. However, in times of a high unemployment rate, natural disasters, or pandemics like COVID, there may be extended unemployment benefits.
Ohio Unemployment Extended Benefit Programs
Ohio Extended Benefits (EB)
Extended Benefits are available during periods of a high unemployment rate. The program provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits when Ohio is experiencing high unemployment. Most recently, unemployment benefits were extended during the COVID pandemic.
In July 2020, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced that it would be issuing eligible claimants an additional 20 weeks of extended unemployment benefits, if they had already exhausted their 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance and the 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
Claimants who then exhausted extended benefits would potentially be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) as well, resulting in a total of 59 weeks of UI benefits. If a claimant had initially collected PUA and not regular unemployment insurance, they would then be able to collect 46 weeks total.
On March 27th, 2020, the federal government signed the CARES Act into law, which stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security. This act was essentially the umbrella that created funding in every state for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).
The CARES Act also provided funding to local governments with populations over 500,000 to fund pandemic-related costs. In addition to providing a financial boost for Ohio unemployment claimants, the CARES Act also provided billions of dollars for schools and colleges, mass transit, and community development.
The Coronavirus-induced economic shutdown caused millions of Ohioans to lose their jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the unemployment rate in Ohio peaked at 16.8% in April 2020 and fell to 13.7% in May 2020. To help the unemployed Ohioans meet their basic needs, the state provided a range of financial measures. One such is the extended unemployment benefits.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was a COVID-era relief program that was meant for those Ohio residents who did not meet traditional Ohio unemployment eligibility guidelines.
The American Rescue Act Plan of 2021 extended PUA, making it possible for claimants to collect a total of 79 weeks of benefits through September 4th, 2021. Examples of those eligible for PUA included individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, and independent contractors. Claimants who had also made less than $280 each week in the course of their previous employment were also eligible for PUA.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) was available for Ohio unemployment insurance benefits claimants who had already exhausted their standard 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits. PEUC provided these claimants with an additional 13 weeks of benefits if they concluded their 26-week allotment after July 1st, 2019.
The American Rescue Act Plan of 2021 also extended PEUC through September 4th, 2021, so that recipients could get a total of 53 weeks of PEUC benefits.
To qualify for the PEUC program, you had to meet several requirements:
- Have exhausted benefits received under the regular unemployment program under federal or state law that ended on or after July 2019
Are not receiving unemployment benefits under any other state law
Are not collecting benefits under the Unemployment Compensation (UC) laws of Canada
Are able, available to work, or actively seeking employment
Have work search records
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provided an additional $600 for each claimant collecting regular unemployment benefits, PUA, EB, or PEUC. This additional supplemental unemployment income was available only through June 26, 2021, but claims under review, appeal, or pending approval that were filed before then may have received FPUC back pay.
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) was a special program created for individuals who were traditionally employed (that is, on payroll and receiving a paycheck) but who also engaged in self employment, gig work, or contract work. If they earned $5,000 in the tax year before they decided to apply for Ohio Unemployment, they could receive an additional $100 per week on top of their unemployment insurance benefits for all claimed weeks between December 26th, 2020, and June 26th, 2021.
Ohio Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is a program run by FEMA. These extended unemployment benefits are only available when the president declares a disaster.
DUA funds are made available by FEMA for individuals who lost their job due to the disaster and are not eligible for standard unemployment benefits. These claimants typically include self-employed workers, farmers, and individuals who work for an organization like a religious institution. DUA benefits can be triggered by any kind of natural disaster as declared by the President of the United States, and generally lasts for 26 weeks.
More About Extended Unemployment Benefits In Ohio
Generally, Ohioans receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for up to 26 weeks. However, under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program announced under the CARES Act, Ohioans could receive benefits for an additional 13 weeks, that is, a total of 39 weeks.
To add more to this, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) offered extended benefits to its citizens. The Department could offer extended unemployment benefits because Ohio’s insured unemployment rate (a measure of the number of people currently collecting UI as a percentage of the labor force) had crossed the minimum threshold.
Under the newly extended benefits program, eligible Ohioans received payment for an additional 20 weeks. Those who qualified for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program received benefits for an additional 7 weeks.
Who Qualifies For Extended Unemployment Benefits In Ohio?
To be eligible for extended unemployment benefits in Ohio, one must meet several requirements. Some of them include:
- The individual must be out of work
- The individual must exhaust benefits received under the regular unemployment program
- The individual must exhaust payment received under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program
- The individual must be able, available for work, and actively look for work
Note – Despite meeting the requirements, not all may receive the benefits under the extended benefits program. Kimberly Hall, Director of the ODJFS, has said that the Department will soon start notifying people who can receive payment under the extended program.
Additional Benefits Available for Ohio residents
Traditional unemployment benefits could help with lost wages assistance. However, many households need additional types of assistance, such as help with food, medicine, or utility payments. There are several other programs that can provide a family service benefit such as SNAP benefits (commonly called food stamps), HEAP Summer Crisis and HEAP Winter Crisis (helping with utility payments), Medicaid, and Child Care Assistance.
Ohioans in need of financial assistance should explore all their options in terms of getting help with lost wages, cash assistance, food, heating, child care, and medical insurance. If you qualify for one of these programs, there is a good chance you qualify for all of them.