Some Ohioans Now Receiving $300 Extra In Weekly Unemployment Others May Have To Wait A Month To Apply For Benefits Extended Weeks Ago
Updates on extended unemployment benefits, additional payments of $300 a week.Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
CLEVELAND, Ohio – While many people have begun to receive their $300 extra a week in unemployment benefits, others may have to wait a month or more to file claims for expanded benefits that were part of the stimulus package signed into law just after Christmas, Ohios unemployment chief said Wednesday.
Kim Henderson, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, blamed the delay in fully enacting provisions of the December stimulus bill on the need to re-program Ohios unemployment system to comply with new federal requirements.
I know and understand that is too long, Henderson said We are working diligently to press our vendor, Deloitte , to advance the readiness of that program.
She said payments will be retroactive for all weeks a person was eligible, going back to Dec. 27.
Henderson said at least eight states have already gone live with the new pandemic unemployment program – Alabama, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington – though none that she knew were using Deloitte.
For Ohio, Henderson said:
* The $300 a week in extra unemployment benefits are now being paid for those who did not exhaust their benefits before the initial CARES Act program expired on Dec. 27.
Henderson said she wanted to express sincere sadness and regret for the loss she is experiencing.
Will Payments Hurt Businesses Or Help The Unemployed
Several other organizations have weighed in. Ohio Grocers Association, Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, Ohio Restaurant Association, Ohio Business Roundtable, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce all back DeWines position.
It is clear that Ohio businesses and in turn, Ohios economy will suffer unjustifiable harm if the requested injunction is issued, they wrote in a legal brief.
Arguing on the other side are liberal-leaning think tank Policy Matters Ohio, the American Sustainable Business Council and National Employment Law Project.
They say Ohio businesses have a hiring problem because of poor access to childcare, low wages offered and concerns about the continuing pandemic not because federal officials chipped in an additional $300 a week.
The decision runs counter to the public interest and creates economic harm for thousands of Ohioans, they wrote, adding that low-income, Black, women and those living in Appalachian Ohio with high unemployment rates would be most hurt.
Jessie Balmert is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Akron Beacon Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.
How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits
You can apply for unemployment benefits online at the ODFJS website. When you apply you will need:
- Your Social Security number and driver’s license or state ID number.
- The name, address, phone number of your employer in the last six weeks.
- The dates you worked there and the reason you became unemployed from each job.
- The Social Security numbers and dates of birth for your dependents.
- If you recently worked out of state or for the federal government, or you are not a US citizen, you may have to provide more information.
Due to COVID-19, ODJFS is experiencing very high call volumes to apply for unemployment benefits. If you can, please apply online to streamline your application process.
This also means that the ODJFS system may being experiencing technical issues due to the larger than usual number of applicants. If you are not able to access the ODFJS online system, please be patient. The ODJFS team is working to resolve technical issues as they come up.If you cannot get through to file online due to technical issues, ODJFS has announced that your benefits will be retroactive to the time that you qualified.
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Cares Enhanced Benefits In Ohio
Under the CARES act, the following federally funded enhanced unemployment assistance was made available.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance : expands eligibility for individuals who are typically ineligible for Unemployment benefits, for example, independent contractors, self-employed, and gig workers.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation : provides an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment benefits to all recipients. On July 6th, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, announced that an additional 20 weeks of benefits will be available to those individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment and the 13 weeks of the PEUC
At this time, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation , which provided individuals with an additional $600 per week, has ended . However, if your claim eligibility dates between March 29th and July 25th you will receive this benefit.
In many states, the increase in COVID-19 related unemployment has triggered the Extended Benefits program providing an additional 20 weeks for those who have exhausted all other state and federal benefits. The activation of Extended Benefits is due to the high unemployment rates in Ohio. As of July 23rd, the ODJFS had received over 1.5 million claims
The unemployment rate, which topped out at 17.6% in April, went down to 13.9% in May and is predicted to drop to 10.9% in June.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
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Where Is This Money Coming From
Under a previous federal stimulus plan, everyone on unemployment received an extra $600 in benefits a week, but that program expired at the end of July.
After summer negotiations halted in Congress because Democrats and Republicans couldnt agree on a replacement amount, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Aug. 8 allowing states to apply for additional federal funds for certain people out of work due to the pandemic.
At first, Trump said states had to contribute $100 a week to receive $300 from the federal government, but then relaxed those rules after states said they couldnt afford to pitch in a share. New Jersey applied and was approved for the $300 benefits, without paying the $100 contribution.
The money comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which funds emergency responses to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Laura, under the Lost Wages Supplemental Assistance program.
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Do I Need To Take Any Action To Be Paid The $300 Fpuc
Like prior FPUC weekly payments, you wont have to to take any additional action to receive this supplemental payment from your state UI agency. Just continue to file your claim each week for the unemployment benefit you are currently receiving and the supplementary payment will be added to that once your state agency updates their systems to make this payment.
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Were PUA and PEUC extended? Both PUA and PEUC programs were also extended until September 6th, 2021. Additional weeks will cover people who have exhausted their current weeks or balance. See this article on what actions you may have to take to get these UI extensions, which will then enable you to get the $300 FPUC payment.
Case Over Ohios $300 Weekly Unemployment Checks Sent Back To County Court
The fight to bring back the $300 weekly additional checks to unemployed Ohioans remains up in the air after an appeals court decided to send the case back to a county judge.
Advocates to revive the pandemic unemployment assistance say this gives reason to start sending the weekly checks again.
The 10th District Court of Appeals ruled that a lower courts decision to deny reinstating the additional unemployment assistance is based on an analysis that is incomplete.
The appeals court says the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas did not address two factors in the case unjustifiable harm to third parties or any public interest served by the injunction.
Zach Schiller with Policy Matters Ohio says theres still hope the additional $300 a week will be paid out retroactively.
I would certainly hope that there could be some benefits that could be paid out beyond those that expire on September 4, Schiller said.
But Attorney General Dave Yost is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to reverse the appeals courts decision.
The state argues that Gov. Mike DeWine had the legal right to stop accepting the federal funds for the program.
Ohio stopped accepting the federal dollars to pay out the checks at the end of June. Gov. Mike DeWine said vaccines and other protection measures were in place that allowed people to go back to work.
In ending those checks, DeWine said the coronavirus vaccine and other protective measures make it safe for people to return to work.
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Federal Programs That Expanded Unemployment Programs Are Expiring
Federal programs that expanded and extended unemployment benefits are expiring.
The week ending Sept. 4, 2021 is the last payable week of benefits from these programs that were established with the Coronairus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and continued under the American Rescue Plan Act:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: for the self-employed, freelancers, independent contractors and others who dont qualify for regular unemployment benefits.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation : Extends benefits after you run out of regular unemployment benefits.
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation : The extra $300 a week for all eligible claimants.
- Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation : Provides an additional $100 per week to certain claimants who have earned at least $5,000 in net self-employment income.
If you have eligible weeks prior to Sept. 4:
- If we find that you are eligible, we will continue to process and pay benefits for weeks you claimed through the week ending Sept. 4. Your certification for the week ending Sept. 4 will be due after that date, however, you will still be able to certify for that week on your regularly scheduled certification day and time.
If you are currently receiving PEUC benefits:
- You may be eligible for a regular unemployment claim. Login to your MiWAM account and follow the link under Account Alerts to reopen/file a claim.
If you have a claim pending in adjudication or appeal after Sept. 4:
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Ohio To Stop $300 Weekly Federal Unemployment Assistance Program
Gov. Mike DeWine has announced the state will cut off the additional $300 in weekly federal assistance going to unemployed workers, starting in late June. DeWine says this is another step in restoring the market while others call it a mistake.
DeWine says companies around the state are having trouble finding workers to fill job openings and says the extra $300 a week going towards people who are unemployed is playing a role.
In some cases, certainly discouraging people from going back at this point in time. The assistance was always, always intended to be temporary, DeWine says.
Ohio will end that additional assistance program on June 26.
Watch: DeWine and Husted discuss hiring issues in Ohio.
But groups like the liberal think tank Policy Matters Ohio calls that a mistake.
Hannah Halbert, executive director of Policy Matters Ohio, wrote in a statement, The best way for employers to attract new workers is to pay a good wage and offer decent benefits. State unemployment data show Ohioans re-enter the workforce when decent jobs are available. In the last quarter of 2020, the vast majority of unemployed Ohioans, about 80%, returned to work before exhausting their unemployment benefits.
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What Happens When Supplemental Benefit Funds Run Out
Some states, like West Virginia, have indicated they have the funds to continue paying supplemental unemployment benefits through the end of the year. Gov. Jim Justice says he set aside $687 million of the States $1.25 billion in CARES Act funds to prepare for a contingency like this.
But most states say they are not financially prepared to provide the bulk of supplemental unemployment benefits.
It is possible that Congress will agree on legislation to extend the federal supplemental benefits further before these payments run out. The House of Representatives and the Senate are officially adjourned until after Labor Day. So lawmakers are not likely to start up negotiations on additional legislation until Sept. 8, which means theyd need to move quickly.
Biden Arpa Stimulus Bill Extensions
Under President Bidens $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan , enhanced unemployment benefits have been extended until September 6th . This includes further extensions to the PUA program, PEUC program, $300 weekly payment under the FPUC program and $100 Mixed Earners program. There were also provisions in the Biden Stimulus package for Unemployment tax breaks on the first $10,200 of benefits received in 2020.
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Unemployment Program Extensions Under Covid Relief Bill
The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package was passed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, which among several other pandemic relief measures extends and provides additional federal funding for enhanced unemployment benefits. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance , Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and a reinstatement, but halving of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program which provides a $300 supplemental weekly unemployment payment.
These programs have been funded and extended for 11 weeks , covering the weeks of December 26th, 2020 to March 14th, 2021. There is a four week phase out to April 10th, 2021 for PUA and PEUC claimant with remaining weeks after March 14th. To receive the weekly $300 FPUC benefits , you must be receiving at least $1 of regular UI, PEUC, EB, or PUA.
Ohio Unemployment 2021 Extensions Payment Update on PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC
: The OJFS has provided new updates on the extended enhanced UI programs as follows. They are running later than originally planned for paying out the extended weeks of benefits to ALL Ohioans.
Those with active benefits under regular UI, EB, PUA or PEUC can continue to file and will are currently getting the extra $300 supplementary payment .
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation : Once implemented, will provide an additional $100 a week, on top of the $300 FPUC benefit.
I will post additional details as they are released in coming days. So stay tuned for updates.
When Could The Supplemental Unemployment Payments Go Out
Under the executive action, in order to receive funds, states must submit an application and a plan for administering the funds to the Federal Emergency Management Agency , which is charged with dispersing the federal funds from the Disaster Relief Fund. Once those are approved and signed, the agency said funding will be available within one business day.
But states need to make adjustments to their unemployment insurance system to access these funds and accommodate program requirements, so the actual distribution will take longer. The Labor Department estimates it could take about three weeks from the states plan approval for the actual dispersement of funds. Although some, like Arizona, have said theyre set up to deliver benefits sooner. The state said this week that it expects to start issuing funds to claimants by next week.
Remaining states still need to get applications in and approved before they can access the additional supplemental funds. States including Michigan, Tennessee, and New Hampshire have announced theyre already in the process of submitting applications for aid or are waiting for approval.
States grant applications and administrative plans must be received by September 10, 2020, in order to be considered for the federal grant, according to FEMA. That means all payments should be going out by the end of September.
Is It Too Late To Apply For Unemployment Insurance
If youve been laid off or furloughed, you can apply for unemployment benefits in your state. Once the state approves your claim, you can apply to receive whatever state benefits youre entitled to. Because states cover 30% to 50% of a persons wages, there isnt a single sum you could expect on a national basis. Each states unemployment insurance office provides information to file a claim with the program in the state where you worked. Some claims may be filed in person, by phone or online, so its best to contact your states office directly.
Eligibility criteria vary from state to state, but the general rule is that you should apply if youve lost your job or been laid off through no fault of your own, including if it was due directly or indirectly to the pandemic. You can check on your states requirements here. In February, the Department of Labor updated its unemployment eligibility requirements to include people who refused to return to work due to unsafe coronavirus standards.
As for self-employed workers and freelancers who are losing PUA coverage, some online groups are calling to extend pandemic unemployment programs through the crisis and offer more information.
You might also want to know about the IRS issuing refunds to those who were taxed on their 2020 unemployment benefits. And heres an important primer on the 2021 enhanced child tax credit, which is offering millions of families extra money in advance of next years taxes.
Pandemic Hardship Is About To Get A Lot Worse For Millions Of Out
Millions of unemployed Americans lost pandemic-related jobless benefits as of Labor Day just as surging cases of coronavirus slow the pace of hiring.
In all, an estimated 8.8 million people stopped receiving unemployment insurance beginning on Sept. 6, 2021. Millions more will no longer get the extra US$300 a week the federal government has been providing to supplement state benefits.
But with the pandemic still raging thanks to the rise of the delta variant, particularly in Southern states, the expiration of these benefits seems ill-timed. While some claim that the aid is no longer needed and doing more harm than good, webelieve that the data tell another story.
Three federal programs created to support workers hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns expired on Sept. 6:
All told, the end of these programs may affect 35 million people when you include families of the unemployed.
Dropping aid didnt boost jobs growth
Critics of these federal supplemental benefits claim they reward Americans for not working by offering more in aid than theyd get from a job. This is why many Republican governors opted to drop out of one or more of the federal programs in recent months.
We see Help Wanted signs everywhere, Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little said on May 11, 2021. We do not want people on unemployment. We want people working.
Jobless Americans still need support
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