Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Expands Capacity for Responding to Unemployment Claims

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ (ODJFS) data for the period beginning March 15 and ending May 5, 2020, the agency has paid more than $1.8 billion in unemployment benefits to more 526,000 state residents. Of the nearly one million claims made by Ohioans, 85 percent have been processed and resolved.

From the period beginning March 15 and ending the week of April 26, more than 55,000 initial unemployment claims and an average of 27,964 continuing claims were made in Lucas County alone.

ODJFS has responded to the overwhelming demand for assistance by adding staff, extending their work hours, and enhancing the agency’s technological capability.

The following programs are available for struggling Ohioans to get help:

  • Traditional Unemployment Insurance – To be eligible, applicants must have worked for a minimum of 20 weeks in the last 18 months, making an average weekly wage of $269. Employees eligible for traditional unemployment insurance can have their claims processed most quickly by  visiting the website – unemployment.ohio.gov/employee 
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance –  This program is available to individuals who are no longer are working due to COVID-19 and do not qualify for traditional unemployment insurance, such as self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers, part-time workers, and those who lack sufficient work history. This assistance is also available to individuals who have exhausted all regular unemployment benefits. Individuals interested in applying for this support can visit unemployment.ohio.gov/expandedeligibility to apply.

Ohio residents in need of assistance also can call (877) 644-6562 or (888) 642-8203 for help. Phone operators are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays. The attached unemployment infographic offers additional details.