A shop closed, due to COVID-19.

Ohio Is Extending Unemployment Benefits

Restaurant workers entertainment venues, and the tourist industry have been most affected by the pandemic. Unemployment rates are highest in these sectors. Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash.

Ohioans who stand to lose their regular unemployment benefits may be eligible for an additional 20 weeks worth of federal benefits.

Right now, Ohio workers without a job are eligible for up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits equal to half the average weekly pay they had been making, as well as $600 of weekly federal coronavirus benefits for an additional 13 weeks. This means that many workers who started receiving benefits in March can continue receiving benefits until May of 2021, if needed.

Ohio is able to receive federal money since the state’s average, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the past three months exceeded 8%. The eligibility threshold was at least 110% higher than the same three-month period in either of the past two years.

When COVID-19 led Governor Mike DeWine’s administration to shut down non-essential businesses, including bars and restaurants and issue a stay-at-home order starting in mid-March. Our state’s unemployment rate went from 5.8% in March to 17.6% in April and 13.7% in May.

Ohio is one of 49 states that is eligible for extended unemployment benefits. Ohio offered similar federal benefits after the recession of 2008.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, which operates Ohio’s unemployment insurance program, will soon begin to notify people who may qualify for the additional assistance about how to apply. For more information, visit The Department of Jobs and Family Services website.

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