Ohio announces changes to unemployment programs after recent stimulus package passage

Ohio announces changes to unemployment programs after recent stimulus package passage
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The same legislation that provided the most recent stimulus checks to many Ohioans also expands the state’s unemployment system to provide additional money to those who are eligible.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced this morning that many unemployment claimants will soon begin receiving the $300 weekly supplement payment made possible by the stimulus bill. In addition, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provided relief to independent contractors and self-employed workers, also is set to resume paying out to Ohioans.

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“We are committed to making the updates as quickly as we can so that we can bring much-needed relief to eligible claimants,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Henderson. “System programming will be needed for this effort, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as that occurs. Ohio stands ready to assist those in need as soon as possible, within the bounds of the new law. Those eligible will receive all benefits to which they are entitled.”

The stimulus bill, which was apart of the larger Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, was signed on Dec. 27. It extends and amends the pandemic unemployment programs and benefits through Mar. 13.

Ohioans who were receiving some of the CARES Act benefits that expired on Dec. 26 will have those programs pick-up where they left off and may file for benefits retroactive to the week beginning on Dec. 27.

PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE:

  • This program supports business owners, self-employed, independent contractors and those who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment benefits.
  • Once implemented, the extension will provide up to an additional 11 weeks of benefits to a maximum of up to 50 weeks.
  • Requires a weekly certification specifying a “COVID-19 CARES Act reason” beginning on Jan. 26.
  • Will require individuals to substantiate employment or self-employment in the most recent tax year, beginning on Jan. 31.
  • Applications will be accepted until March 13, 2021. Individuals who are eligible for PUA benefits on the week ending March 13 and who have remaining weeks to claim will be able to continue to file through April 10.
  • ODJFS expects to have the PUA system back up and running by the third week in January for those who previously were approved to receive up to 39 weeks of these benefits, so they can again file weekly claims. PUA claims can be filed for weeks prior to Dec. 27. Due to the transition, new PUA applications and claims for weekly PUA benefits cannot be accepted at this time due to the transition.

PANDEMIC EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION:

  • The extension will provide up to 11 additional weeks of benefits, with a maximum of 24 weeks for those eligible people who exhaust traditional unemployment benefits.
  • Applications will be accepted until March 13. Those who have PEUC benefits on the week ending on March 13 and have remaining weeks still remaining will be able to continue filing claims through April 10.
  • New applications can be filed and the additional 11 weeks will be paid out once the programming is complete at the state. Payments will be retroactive.

FEDERAL PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION:

  • Once implemented, will provide up to 11 weeks of an additional $300 weekly unemployment to eligible claimants.
  • Available for weeks between Dec. 27 and March 13. Pay will be retroactive once payments begin later this month.

MIXED EARNER UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION:

  • New program introduced with latest stimulus bill.
  • Provides benefits for those who have been eligible for traditional unemployment benefits and have also earned wages in self-employment.
  • Once implemented, will provide an additional $100 a week, on top of the $300 FPUC benefit.