Between determining eligibility for unemployment and navigating how applicants can claim UI benefits, there are various steps candidates must complete before they may begin receiving their UI payment. The sections below will outline the program’s application process, enrollment requirements and a list of steps candidates can take if they are denied unemployment.
What is unemployment in Ohio?
Ohio unemployment insurance (UI) is a public benefits program that is jointly funded by the federal and the state governments, and it is designed to help support qualifying locals when they are in between jobs. In order to file a successful unemployment claim, candidates must ensure they meet all program requirements before they apply. In Ohio UI reimbursement typically lasts between 20 and 26 weeks. However, barring periods of high national or state job loss, beneficiaries may only enroll in UI coverage for a maximum of 26 weeks during a calendar year.
What are the requirements to get unemployment in Ohio?
The Ohio eligibility for unemployment requirements are straightforward. These enrollment prerequisites are as follows:
- Reason — Candidates are unemployed due to circumstances that were out of their control. Therefore, petitioners who were fired without valid reason or who were laid off would most likely qualify for UI benefits.
- Status — Candidates are either completely or partially unemployed when they submit their applications. Therefore, candidates whose employers reduced their work hours are usually eligible to enroll in UI benefits.
- Finances — Candidates earned enough money during their base periods to qualify for unemployment. Therefore, candidates who worked 20 hours or more during their base periods are generally eligible for UI benefits.
For UI enrollment eligibility, a financial base period refers to the first four of five most recent calendar quarters. Starting in January, quarters consist of three consecutive months. When evaluating the quarters that are used in the base period, applicants exclude the quarter in which they are filing and the previous one. For example, an employee who files for UI benefits in July would not include the wages earned in that quarter or the ones from the previous quarter (which consists of months April, May and June). Therefore, when calculating this individual’s eligibility for unemployment, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) would look at the wages the candidate earned in the months leading up to March.
How can I sign up for unemployment in Ohio?
Applicants may wonder how to apply for unemployment online once they realize they are eligible to enroll in this benefits program. Candidates have the option to submit their applications to the ODJFS online or by calling their toll free phone number, during weekday business hours. When submitting materials over the phone or through the online application for UI, petitioners must make sure they have specific information available. Otherwise, they will not be able to complete their applications. Candidates will need to produce:
- Identification — This includes Social Security Number, driver’s license or state identification number and contact information such as email address, physical address and telephone number.
- Employer information — This includes the claimant’s previous employers contact information. For each company she or he worked for in the past six weeks, candidates must provide contact information for those employers.
- Reason — This includes a written explanation addressing why the claimant is no long employed.
- Dependent Information — This includes the names, dates of birth and Social Security Numbers for applicants’ children.
- Job information — This includes a summary of the claimant’s job skills and his or her usual occupation.
In order to file for unemployment, candidates may also need to provide information that relates to their specific identity and employment history. For example, in order to accurately apply for unemployment benefits, qualifying candidates would also need to submit:
- Alien registration numbers.
- Military discharge papers.
- Federal employer severance papers.
Generally, the UI registration process takes between 20 and 25 minutes to complete. Applicants who submit their materials online have 24 hours to complete the application. Toward the end of the application, petitioners will be able to choose how they would like to receive UI benefits. The options are through direct deposit, using the applicant's’ personal accounts or through a paid debit card that is specifically for UI benefits.
How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Ohio?
The unemployment phone interview in Ohio is a critical step in the claimant’s process to gain UI benefits. It is important that applicants and their employers prepare for the UI insurance interview because, in many instances, both parties will be responsible for participating. While these conversations are not always required, they are necessary when individuals present conflicting information to the ODJFS or when applicants submit information that is unclear.
The majority of questions asked during unemployment interview will relate to the claimant’s most recent job. For the employer, most all of his or her questions will relate to the circumstances surrounding the petitioner’s departure from their company. Claimants, on the other hand, may also receive questions relating to their willingness and ability to work. In general, candidates can prepare for these interviews by gathering information relating to:
- Any current job searches and applications they have submitted.
- The dates on-hand for when they worked for their most recent employers.
- Why they were terminated at their most recent positions.
Employers can prepare for the UI interview by gathering relevant employee records, such as those pertaining to the claimants’ exit interviews, written warnings and annual reviews. In any case, neither employers nor claimants should be concerned with how to pass the employment insurance interview. The information they obtain in these conversations is holistic, and it is used to help the ODJFS representatives make accurate decisions regarding who can receive UI benefits. Therefore, both parties should be more concerned with providing accurate, descriptive answers. While these unemployment phone interviews are usually brief, the ODJFS reserves the right to request follow-up interviews, if necessary.
How do I claim unemployment benefits in Ohio?
Petitioners can claim unemployment benefits in OH only after applications have been accepted and they are approved for enrollment. Receiving a decision typically takes between three and four weeks, and this number fluctuates depending on how much additional information the ODJFS requires from the claimants and their employers. However, once an affirmative decision is made, petitioners can begin claiming benefits for unemployment. Candidates will be able to claim unemployment benefits using the method they elected during their application. Therefore, petitioners will either begin receiving UI deposits into their bank accounts, or the funds will be loaded onto their program debit cards. Regardless, it is very simple for applicants to learn how to claim unemployment benefits and how to utilize the money because the funds are electronically deposited onto their cards.
Once candidates are approved to receive UI benefits in Ohio, they are required to keep meeting specific program stipulations in order to maintain their eligibility. In order to determine whether or not beneficiaries may continue receiving benefits, enrollees may be asked:
- Whether or not they are willing and able to work.
- If they are attending school.
- Whether or not they are actively searching for employment opportunities.
- If they have full availability to work standard schedules.
In addition, UI benefits claims will only be recertified if enrollees continue to report any income they make while receiving UI payment. Producing any of the aforementioned information after their specific deadlines can result in a loss of benefits or a delay in payment. Additionally, deliberately falsifying any information in order to claim unemployment benefits is a crime, and individuals may be prosecuted if found guilty of this.
What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in Ohio?
Petitioners who are denied unemployment in Ohio have the opportunity to appeal these decisions. Within 21 days from their determinations’ issue dates, employers and employees can file appeals. Individuals may file their requests to the ODJFS by fax, mail or online. When submitting their appeals, a petitioner must include his or her:
- Social Security Number.
- The determination and its identity number.
- The reasons for his or her disagreement with the determination.
From the date the ODJFS receives the unemployment denial appeal, they have three calendar weeks to either refer the decision to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC) or to issue a redetermination. However, before these decisions can be reached, relevant parties will have the chance to submit additional information for the appeals referee to examine.
Applicants who have their unemployment compensation benefits denied through the redetermination process may still elect to have their cases examined by the UCRC. This process follows a similar pattern as the redetermination hearing process, and if petitioners are denied here as well, they can appeal to the Common Pleas Court.
How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in Ohio?
An Ohio federal unemployment extension is not frequently offered, so UI enrollees should not rely on this program addition if their benefits are about to expire. An unemployment benefits extension is funded through federal money, and it is only available during statewide or national periods of job shortages. As a result, in most cases, it is impossible to obtain a UI extension beyond the state-mandated 26-week enrollment period. However, in instances when the UI compensation extension is available, the ODJFS will contact qualifying beneficiaries.
How do I contact the Ohio unemployment office?
UI enrollees may wish to contact the Ohio unemployment office regarding specific enrollment and eligibility questions. In addition to submitting questions and requests over the phone or through the program’s online portal, candidates can reach the OH unemployment office at:
30 E Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215