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Ohio expanding unemployment benefits, eligibility through federal programs

ODJFS Unemployment Benefits.jpg
Posted at 4:43 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 16:57:29-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Friday, Ohio will roll out new federal unemployment programs aimed at helping furloughed workers and individuals who have been let go due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, residents who are unemployed due to coronavirus but who don’t receive unemployment benefits will be able to preregister for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The program covers workers in more categories than previously.

Additionally, ODJFS said that more than 400,000 Ohioans have started receiving an additional $600 supplements under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) program. The supplement will appear on pay stubs with the code “FAC.” The supplements will run through July 25.

ODJFS says that both the PUA and PUC program are authorized by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“We are thrilled to provide this much-needed assistance to Ohioans unemployed as a result of the pandemic,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall. “I also know that many eligible Ohioans are still waiting to receive benefits, and I am very sorry for the delay. We understand the urgency of providing individuals with the resources they need to support their families. Since mid-March, we have focused on expanding staff support, working longer hours, and partnering with private sector experts to add more technological capacity to our system. We will not rest until all eligible Ohioans are served.”

Anyone who wants to pre-register can do so by visiting unemployment.ohio.gov.

“The preregistration tool will allow individuals to get in line early and pre-register their account, so that as soon as the agency has the technical ability to process their claims in May, they can log in and complete their paperwork,” ODJFS stated.

Ohioans eligible for PUA benefits will be retroactive to as early as Feb. 2.

“The program will provide up to 39 weeks of benefits to many who historically have not qualified for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers, part-time workers, and those who lack sufficient work history,” ODJFS said. “Individuals who have exhausted all regular unemployment and any weekly extensions also may be eligible for the program.”

If you have questions regarding the programs, you can call 1-833-604-0774.

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