Ohio Unemployment Weekly Claims
What is a weekly claim?
Once you apply for Ohio UI benefits and are approved, you’ll need to regularly provide information that documents your continued unemployment eligibility. For each week you collect traditional unemployment benefits from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, you must submit information about your work search activities, any money you earned, and whether you remain able and available to accept employment if it’s offered to you.
Your weekly claim establishes that you are complying with the conditions for receiving Ohio unemployment compensation.
When to file a weekly claim
Throughout the time you collect Ohio unemployment benefits, you are required to file a claim on either a weekly or a biweekly basis. For your first three weeks, claimants should file a weekly claim. Beyond that point, you will file weekly if you’ve chosen email as your contact method.
Please note: If you’ve chosen U.S. mail as your contact method, you will file biweekly.
You must file your benefits claim within 21 days of the Saturday of the week you filed your initial Ohio unemployment application or the Saturday of the week that you are claiming traditional unemployment benefits. Otherwise, your claim for weekly benefits may be denied.
How to file a weekly claim over the phone
You are welcome to file an Ohio UI weekly claim over the phone if you do not have access to the Internet or online filing is otherwise unavailable to you. Contact the Ohio unemployment office at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888-642-8203. View Ohio unemployment phone numbers.
How to file a weekly claim online
Filing your weekly claim online is also a fast and simple option for documenting your continued eligibility. First, visit https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov and log into your account. Then select the week you wish to certify – you’ll notice that you’re required to claim weeks starting with the oldest and working up to the most recent if you are claiming multiple weeks.
Once you’ve selected the week to certify, you’ll be prompted to answer a series of questions. Make sure to enter all your information thoroughly and accurately, and simply follow the prompts until you’ve completed all questions related to your unemployment claim. Once you finish with the questions, you’ll select Next, which will take you to a page that allows you to review all of your answers. If you see errors, you can select the option to go back and edit your responses, or you can choose that you don’t agree with the information presented. If everything looks correct, select Next to advance to the following screen.
At this point, you’ll see a confirmation number, which you should write down and keep in a safe place in case you need it. You can click Next and return to the main menu.
Information needed to file a weekly claim
When you file your weekly benefits claim, you’ll need to make sure to provide accurate and complete personal information. So it makes sense to gather everything you need before you start your weekly claim.
Here are a few items to make sure you have documented and close at hand:
- A calendar: you’ll need to report specific dates on which you engaged in work search activities, so having everything organized on a calendar will be helpful as you answer your certification questions.
- Details associated with each work search activity you engaged in for each qualifying week. You’ll be expected to list as many specifics as possible when you submit your benefits claim. This includes contact information, the method you used for outreach, and what kind of response you’ve received.
- Details for any temporary or employment service that directed you to employment.
- Details associated with your response to any job advertisement – this should include how the ad directed you to respond, contact information for who you reached out to, and the response you’ve received.
Questions asked during weekly certification
When you submit your weekly certification, you’ll need to be prepared to answer specific questions about your activities for the week you’re certifying. We’ve gathered some sample questions below that are good examples of what claimants can expect.
- During the qualifying week, did you complete at least two work search activities? – This question is important because your answer establishes that you are remaining in compliance with the Ohio work search requirements. If your answer is, “yes,” you’ll be asked to provide additional detail about the dates and times of your activities, along with a description of the types of work search activities you engaged in.
- Did you apply for any jobs during the week claimed? – Applying for jobs counts as one of your work search activities, so if you applied for any employment, you should be prepared to provide information about the method you used to apply (in person, online, etc.), and the contact information of the organizations where you applied.
- During the qualifying week, were you physically and mentally able to accept work? – This question helps the Ohio unemployment office understand whether you are compliant with a key eligibility requirement, which is that you must be both willing and able to accept work. So if you were sick or otherwise unable to work, you should answer no to this question.
- During the week claimed, were you available to work? – This question is a little different from the question about your ability to work, which focuses on your physical and mental capacity to accept employment.
Availability refers to how you’re spending your time and planning to accept work. For example, if you take an out-of-town trip or don’t have transportation or child care arranged, you would not be available to accept suitable work if it were offered to you. If you were not available for work, you’ll be asked to provide details regarding why.
One important point to remember is the importance of providing complete and accurate information when you submit your weekly benefits claim. If you knowingly provide false information to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services within your weekly claims, you could be found guilty of unemployment fraud. Unemployment fraud in Ohio carries stiff penalties, including fines and repayment of fraudulently collected payments. In some cases, criminal penalties may even apply, including jail time.