Extended Unemployment Benefits In Ohio: What You Should Know
The Coronavirus-induced economic shutdown has 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 and fell to 13.7% in May. To help the Unemployed Ohioans meet their basic needs, the state provides a range of financial measures. One such is the extended unemployment benefits.
In this article, let’s have a look at the extended unemployment benefits in Ohio.
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) is offering extended benefits to its citizens. The Department can 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) has crossed the minimum threshold.
Under the newly extended benefits program, eligible Ohioans can receive payment for an additional 20 weeks. Those who qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program can receive 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.
How To File For Extended Unemployment Benefits In Ohio?
The ODJFS has not yet announced the extended benefits application process. The Department will go through the applications, determine who qualifies for benefits, and provide information on the application process. For more details, visit http://unemployment.ohio.gov/expandedeligibility.
Note that if you have exhausted only the regular unemployment benefits, you cannot apply for extended benefits. Instead, you should apply for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program.
What Is The PEUC Program?
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation is a financial measure announced under the CARES Act. It provides benefits for an additional 13 weeks to the eligible.
To qualify for the PEUC program, you should meet several requirements such as:
- 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
How To File For PEUC In Ohio?
If you are receiving regular unemployment benefits, you need not reapply for the PEUC. The Department will automatically add 13 weeks of PEUC payment for you. However, if you recently lost your job through no fault of your own and are not receiving unemployment benefits, apply for one.
File For Unemployment Benefits In Ohio
You can apply for unemployment benefits in Ohio online or by phone. You can apply online by visiting http://unemployment.ohio.gov/. However, if you have lost your work due to the direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic, visit https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/ for more information on eligibility and filing.
You can also apply a claim by calling toll free number, 1-877-644-6562 or TTY 1-614-387-8408. The representatives will be available 8 AM – 5 PM, Monday to Friday, excluding state holidays. The state also has extended call center hours to help people with PIN resets and initial application process. The representatives will be available 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday to Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM on Saturdays, and 9 AM – 1 PM on Sundays.
Documents Required While Filing A Claim
You are required to submit several documents while applying for an unemployment claim. Some of them include:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your Email address and telephone number
- Your Social Security number
- Names of your employer
- Address of your employers
- Contact information of your employers
- Dates of employment with each company you worked for the past 6 weeks before being unemployed
- Reason for separation from each employer
- Your dependents’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc.
- Alien registration number and its expiration date if you are not a U.S. citizen
If you had any out-of-state jobs, are separated from military service, or had worked for the federal government, you will be required to provide some additional information.
- If you had worked for the federal government, submit SF-8 or SF-50 form
- If you had served in the military, submit Form DD-214 and a copy of Member-4
What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied?
If your claim was denied despite meeting the eligibility criteria, you can file an unemployment appeal. You must file an appeal with ODJFS through fax, Email, or in-person. You must file within 21 days following the issue of the determination letter.
A hearing will be scheduled where the ODJFS will review your case and give its decision. If you are not happy with the decision, you can re-appeal with the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC). Note that you have only 21 days to re-appeal with the UCRC. The UCRC will schedule a hearing through the phone or in-person.
Unemployment benefits undoubtedly provide you with financial support. But remember that it offers relief only for a certain period of time. Therefore, it is a must for you to look for a suitable job. To find a job in Ohio, visit https://careers.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/careers/.
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