Strong Legal Guidance

For Employees & Businesses

UPDATED STATE OF OHIO UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT POLICIES

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is quickly updating its unemployment benefit policies due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) are having on our business communities. If you have any additional questions on how these updated policies affect you personally or your business, please be in touch.

Question 1:

How do I apply for unemployment insurance?

Answer: File online at unemployment.ohio.gov

Question 2: Will workers qualify for unemployment benefits if the coronavirus (COVID-19) causes an employer to shut down operations?

Answer: Updated: An executive order issued by Governor DeWine expands flexibility for Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits during Ohio's emergency declaration period. Unemployment benefits will be available for eligible individuals who are requested by a medical professional, local health authority, or employer to be isolated or quarantined as a consequence of COVID-19, even if they are not actually diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition, the waiting period for eligible Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits will be waived.

Question 3:If an employer lays off employees due to the loss of production caused by the coronavirus, will the employees be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?

Answer: Yes, if the employees are otherwise eligible. An executive order issued by Governor DeWine expands flexibility for Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits during Ohio's emergency declaration period.

Question 4:If an employee receives unemployment benefits as a result of a coronavirus-related business shutdown, will the employer's unemployment taxes increase?

Answer: For contributory employers, charges during Ohio's emergency declaration period will be mutualized. Reimbursing employers will follow existing charging requirements under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4141.

Question 5:If an employee receives unemployment benefits as a result of a coronavirus-related business shutdown, can the benefits be charged to the mutual account?

Answer: Updated: Yes, an executive order issued by Governor DeWine allows unemployment benefit charges to be mutualized for contributory employers. In addition, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will waive penalties for late reporting and payments during Ohio's emergency declaration period.

Question 6:If an asymptomatic employee imposes a self-quarantine because of the coronavirus, will they be eligible for unemployment benefits?

Answer: In most cases, no. Unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are totally or partially unemployed due to no fault of their own. In this example, the individual-not the employer-is choosing not to work and, therefore, would be ineligible. However, the facts of each circumstance are important. If the employer allowed this individual to telework, they would not qualify for benefits because they would not be unemployed. If the employer required the individual to stay home but did not offer telework, the individual might be eligible for benefits if they met the monetary and weekly eligibility criteria.

Question 7:If an employee is in mandatory quarantine because of suspicion of having the coronavirus, will they be eligible for unemployment benefits?

Answer: Updated: Yes, an executive order issued by Governor DeWine states that employees who are quarantined are considered to be unemployed.

Question 8:If the coronavirus creates a situation that causes an employer to submit quarterly reports and/or payments late, will the filing deadline be extended?

Answer: Updated: Yes, an executive order issued by Governor DeWine waives penalties for late reporting and payments during Ohio's emergency declaration period.

Question 9:What is unemployment insurance impact on tipped workers?

Answer: That depends how the employer reported the employee’s wages. If the employer reported tips as part of the employees wage, it would be reflected on their tax reporting and therefore the UI benefit would be based on wage with tips. If the employer did not include tips in the wage, the employee will need to file an affidavit with their tipped wages for ODJFS to review.

Question 10:Are self-employed individuals who have experienced a downturn in their businesses due to COVID-19 eligible for unemployment benefits?

Answer: It depends. Self-employed individuals who have been solely self-employed for the last year or more may not meet the monetary requirements to establish a claim because the wages they earned from self-employment are not considered “covered” under unemployment law.

Apply for Benefits

Ohio has two ways to file an application for Unemployment Insurance Benefits:

  • OnlineFile online at http://unemployment.ohio.gov, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Service may be limited during nightly system updating. Check the website for available services. Please be sure to follow the instructions. If you do not have access to a computer, visit your local library or OhioMeansJobs Center where computers are available for public use. A list of OhioMeansJobs Centers can be found at: http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/wioa/map.stm.

  • TelephoneCall toll-free 1-877-644-6562 or TTY 1-614-387-8408, (excluding holidays) Monday through Friday 8 AM - 5 PM.

To apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits, you will need:

  • Your Social Security number

  • Your driver's license or state ID number

  • Your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address

  • Name, address, telephone number, and dates of employment with each employer you worked for during the past 6 weeks of employment

  • The reason you became unemployed from each employer

  • Dependents' names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth

  • If claiming dependents, your spouse's name, Social Security number, and birth date

  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or national, alien registration number and expiration date

  • Your regular occupation and job skillsAlso:

  • If you had out-of-state employment, have worked for the federal government, or are separated from military service, more information is required, including:

    • Form DD-214, member 4 copy (for military service)

    • SF-8 or SF-50 form (for federal government employment)

Once your application has been filed:

  • You will receive further information by mail or e-mail. E-mail will be sent from OJI@odjfs.state.oh.us.

  • Your claim will be assigned to a Processing Center, based on the last four digits of the your Social Security number. Click here for a list of Processing Centers by Social Security number.

  • If filing online and you need your Personal Identification Number (PIN) reset, please call toll-free 1-866-962-4064.