COLUMBUS — At the end of the week on Friday, April 11, 158,678 people filed for unemployment claims to the U.S Department of Labor, according a release from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). That’s a total of 855,197 people who filed claims in Ohio over the last four weeks.
To put that into perspective, the total for the last four weeks of claims is 139,685 more than the combined total of 715,512 for the last two years.
The system where Ohioans file their claims has been inundated with filing claims since the pandemic started. On Thursday, the system was unavailable for some time because of volume of claims trying to be processed, according to a post by ODJFS.
ODJFS recognizes the frustrations and said they are hiring more people who are working longer hours to answer the calls. The department also extended the call center to a seven-day a week service. Nearly 1,200 staff members have been taking the calls, with a plan to launch a virtual call center by the end of the week.
All eligible Ohioans will receive their unemployment benefits – and any delays in processing their claims will not reduce the amount received. ODJFS will not rest until all eligible Ohioans are served.
According to ODJFS:
Expanded Call Center Hours Those without internet access can call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.
Coronavirus-Related Claims Workers who lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus can enter the mass-layoff number 2000180 on their applications. However, if affected individuals have already submitted claims without this number, they do not need to add it.