COLUMBUS, Ohio — After upgrades to its system over the weekend, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says it’s accepting new Pandemic Unemployment Assistant (PUA) claims.
The federal PUA assistance is available again to 134,000 Ohioans who have been waiting to receive these benefits since they expired on Dec. 26.
“Time has been of the essence as we worked to implement the programming necessary to provide these benefits,” said Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Director Kimberly Henderson in a news release. “Those eligible will receive all benefits they are entitled to, in addition to the new weekly $300 supplemental payments available to all unemployment insurance beneficiaries through recent federal legislation.”
The PUA benefits support business owners, self-employed, independent contractors and others who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment benefits. It was originally created by the federal CARES Act that passed in March 2020.
On Dec. 27, the benefits of that program were extended, but with new program integrity requirements that have caused delays in Ohioans receiving their benefits.
The new legislation provides up to an additional 11 weeks of PUA or 50 weeks total, for eligible individuals.