Coronavirus
- Coronavirus Unemployment Updates - (Coronavirus)
How to Apply
- How to Apply for Unemployment - (How to Apply)
Eligibility
- Unemployment Benefits Eligibility & Amounts - (Eligibility)
Local Resources
- Local Unemployment Benefits Resources - (Local Resources)
Problems
- Handling Unemployment Problems - (Problems)
- Working With a Lawyer - (Lawyers)
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Ohio Unemployment FAQ

Find answers to common questions about unemployment benefits in Ohio.
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Unemployment Basics in Ohio
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Updated: 2021-05-04 by

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What Are Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment benefits are payments made by the state to people who are temporarily out of work through no fault of their own. They are intended to partially replace your lost wages while you look for a new job.

These benefits are provided through an insurance program run jointly by the federal government and Ohio. Each state has its own rules about who qualifies for benefits, how much you can receive, and for how long

Taxes paid by employers in Ohio fund the program and employers may not deduct these taxes from employee wages. If an employer asks you to agree to have the unemployment insurance tax deducted from your wages, you can refuse. Such an agreement is not enforceable.

The extended and expanded unemployment benefits that were available through the CARES Act ended as of September 6, 2021. Some states have also changed their rules to cover those who are out of work due to COVID-19 .  

More information about unemployment benefits in Ohio can be found on the website of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations


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Are Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits Available?

No. The special pandemic benefit programs Congress put in place to help those who lost work in the coronavirus pandemic all expired on September 6, 2021. (In about half the states, these programs ended even earlier: Many state Governors decided to cut off these benefits during the summer of 2021.)

You may still qualify for regular unemployment benefits, whether you are out of work for reasons related to COVID-19 or for any other reason. See how Ohio determines eligibility for benefits.


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Has Ohio Cut Off Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits?

As of September 6, 2021, coronavirus unemployment benefits have expired. This means they are not available in any state, for weeks of unemployment beginning September 6 or later. To learn more, see Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits No Longer Available


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Who Qualifies for Unemployment Benefits?

Under normal circumstances, you qualify for unemployment benefits if you:

  • lost your job through no fault of your own
  • worked during the "base period" required by Ohio unemployment law before you lost your job
  • earned enough in the base period to qualify for benefits, and
  • worked for an employer required to pay into the Ohio Unemployment Trust Fund (most employers have to pay into the fund with only a few exceptions). 

You may qualify for unemployment benefits even if you quit your last job, as long as you quit for a reason that is recognized as good cause to quit by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some states have expanded their unemployment insurance programs to provide benefits to people affected by the outbreak. If your state has changed its rules in this way, you may be eligible for state benefits if you are out of work for reasons related to the coronavirus. The federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which provided benefits for people who were themselves affected or whose family members were affected by COVID-19, ended as of September 6, 2021. 

 For more information about eligibility requirements, see Who is Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in Ohio?

 


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How Are Benefits Calculated?

Each state has its own formula for determining your weekly benefit amount: how much money you will receive each week as your unemployment benefit. Typically, your weekly benefit amount is some percentage of your earnings during the entire base period or the quarter of the base period in which you were paid the most. 

To calculate your weekly benefit in Ohio, you must first figure out your average weekly wage. This is your total earnings during the base period divided by your qualifying weeks of employment (weeks during which you worked for an employer covered by the unemployment laws during the base period). Your weekly benefit is one-half of your average weekly wage. 


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How Long Do Benefits Last?

State law determines how long unemployment benefits last. In the past, virtually all states offered up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. In recent years, however, some states have shortened these entitlements.

In Ohio, you can receive unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks under state law. 

If you are still unemployed when your Ohio benefits run out, you may be eligible for extended benefits. These benefits are available for an extra 13 to 20 weeks (depending on your state's rules) during times of high unemployment. See How Long Will My Unemployment Benefits Last in Ohio for details on these programs. 

 


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What Is the Base Period?

The base period is the length of time used both to determine your eligibility for unemployment benefits and to calculate the amount you will receive. 

In Ohio, the base period is the first four of the five complete calendar quarters immediately before you filed for benefits. For example, if you file for benefits on March 15, 2020, your base period will be from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019. It would not include the most recent complete calendar quarter before you filed (October 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019) or the first two-and-a-half months of 2020.

 

If you did not earn enough to qualify for benefits during the regular base period, you may be able to use an alternate base period that counts more recent earnings. In Ohio, the alternate base period is the last four complete calendar quarters before you file for benefits. 


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How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, some states are limiting or barring people from gathering in public places. This may affect your access to the physical office of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations in person. Check the Ohio unemployment insurance agency website for more information.

You can apply for unemployment benefits in Ohio a couple of ways:

You can find information about how to file your initial claim for benefits and how to file your weekly claim for continuing benefits on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations website, too. Get more information in our article, How Do I Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Ohio?


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Checklist: Information You'll Need to File for Unemployment

Whether you file for unemployment online, in person, or by phone, use this checklist to make sure you have all of the information and documents you'll need:

  • basic personal information, including your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number
  • information on all employers you have worked for in the last year and a half, including the company's name, address, and phone number; the start and end dates of your employment; and your earnings
  • the last date you worked for your previous employer
  • the reason why you are no longer working for your previous employer
  • information on payments you are receiving or expect to receive from your previous employer, such as severance pay, and
  • if you are not a United States Citizen, your alien registration number.

You can find out whether you'll need additional documents or information by contacting the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations.


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About this Website

 

Here at Legal Consumer, we want to help people find answers to everyday legal questions about important topics like bankruptcy, Obamacare, inheritance, and more. 

Now, we’ve turned our attention to employment law. Because, while almost everyone has (or has had) a job, it can be surprisingly tough to get good, high-quality local information about workplace rights. 

We'll be adding new topics over time, but we’ve started with unemployment benefits. If you’ve recently lost your job, unemployment benefits can be a real lifesaver. They replace some of your income, temporarily, while you look for a new job. But not everyone qualifies for benefits, and the amount and duration of benefits can vary a lot from state to state. 

On this website, when you choose your state or enter your zip code, you will quickly learn:

  • who is eligible for unemployment benefits
  • how to apply for unemployment in your state
  • how much you can expect to receive each week
  • what to do if your claim for benefits is denied
  • and more.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the information, forms, and resources you need to get the unemployment benefits you’re entitled to and move on with your job search. 

 


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