RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYEES

Unemployment Assistance

Find the latest updates and resources on the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services' Employer Resource Hub for coronavirus and unemployment insurance benefits.

**Major changes to unemployment assistance is being implemented following Congress's most recent COVID-19 relief bill, signed on December 27, 2020. Of note, it extends and amends the following pandemic unemployment programs and benefits through March 13, 2021:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

  • Once implemented, will provide up to an additional 11 weeks of benefits, to a maximum of up to 50 weeks.
  • Will require a weekly certification specifying a specific “COVID-19 CARES Act reason,” beginning on January 26.
  • Will require individuals to substantiate employment or self-employment in the most recent tax year, beginning on January 31.
  • Will require identity verification at the outset of a claim, beginning on January 26.
  • Will impose new limitations on backdating claims.
  • Will be available until the week ending March 13. Those still eligible on March 13 and who have weeks remaining may file through April 10.
  • Will provide states with new authority to waive PUA and Lost Wages Assistance overpayments, under certain conditions.
  • Requires PUA appeals to be conducted in the same manner and extent as traditional unemployment appeals.

Update: The new law doesn’t simply extend PUA; it adds additional requirements and other changes requiring system programming. We are working to implement these as quickly as possible so that eligible claimants can receive payment. All claimants will receive all benefits for which they are eligible.

  • Claimants who had not exhausted the original 39 weeks provided by the CARES Act may now file weekly claims and receive payment.
  • Individuals who have exhausted their original entitlement do not need to file a new application or appeal prior determinations to be eligible for the additional 11 weeks of benefits. As soon as the additional weeks are programmed and available, a new monetary determination will be issued alerting you to the availability of the additional weeks. Individuals simply will need to file the additional weeks in sequence if they are still unemployed due to one of the stated COVID-19 reasons.
  • Claimants should gather documentation to support their employment or self-employment for the tax year prior to when they filed their original claim for benefits. Individuals who filed their original PUA claim in 2020 should gather documentation to support employment in 2019. New PUA applications filed in 2021 should include supportive documentation of employment in 2020.  Appropriate documents can include paycheck stubs, state or federal employer identification numbers, business licenses, tax documents, business receipts or a signed affidavit.
    Important: Please do not submit this documentation until you receive a notice telling you where to upload it and the timelines for doing so.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

  • Once implemented, will provide up to an additional 11 weeks of benefits, to a maximum of up to 24 weeks, for eligible individuals who exhaust their traditional unemployment benefits
  • Will be available until the week ending March 13. Those still eligible on March 13 and who have weeks remaining may file through April 10.
  • Will provide states the option to allow individuals to continue receiving PEUC even if they qualify for traditional unemployment in a subsequent benefit year, if certain other conditions are met. This includes if their traditional unemployment weekly benefit amount would be at least $25 lower than the PEUC amount.

Update: The new law doesn’t simply extend PEUC; it adds additional requirements and other changes requiring system programming. We are working to implement these as quickly as possible so that eligible claimants can receive payment. All claimants will receive all benefits for which they are eligible.

  • New PEUC applications can be filed.
  • Those who previously were approved to receive up to 13 weeks of PEUC benefits through the CARES Act may file claims for those weeks and receive payment.
  • Individuals who have exhausted their original entitlement but remain unemployed should continue to file their weekly claim for unemployment. The weeks will show as “denied” until the system is programmed to process the additional weeks.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

  • Will provide up to 11 weeks of an additional $300 weekly benefit to eligible claimants in multiple programs.
  • Will be available for weeks of unemployment between December 27, 2020, and the week ending March 13, 2021.

Update: FPUC is now being paid for all programs except for the additional 11 weeks of PUA and PEUC made possible by the new legislation. We are working as quickly as possible to implement FPUC for the additional 11 weeks of PUA and PEUC. All claimants will receive all benefits for which they are eligible.

Employer Benefits

  • Extends full federal funding for Ohio’s SharedWork program.
  • Extends 50% credits to reimbursing employers for traditional unemployment benefit charges.
  • Extends federal payment of the first week of traditional unemployment benefits, at 50% instead of 100%.
  • Requires claimants to be notified about state return-to-work requirements.
  • Extends the waiver of interest to states whose Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds require federal borrowing.

In addition, the legislation created a new program:

Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation

  • For individuals eligible for traditional unemployment benefits who also have earned wages in self-employment.
  • Once implemented, will provide an additional $100 a week, on top of the $300 FPUC benefit.

There is no entitlement gap for most programs, and the legislation does not impact traditional unemployment benefits. In addition, ODJFS expects that the programs and benefits that were extended with little to no changes in the new law – such a full federal funding of SharedWork Ohio, continuation of federal funding for the first week of benefits, and continued claims in PEUC and PUA that still have weeks remaining to file – will be up and running shortly.

Because many of the provisions contain complex additional requirements, more detailed guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor must be analyzed before system programming can be conducted and benefits paid. We ask for everyone’s patience as that occurs. Please continue to check this web page for updates.

CONTINUED ASSISTANCE ACT (CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT)
PROGRAM DATE OF ENACTMENT DATE OF DOL GUIDANCE DATE OF PRODUCTION TOTAL TIME FROM FINAL GUIDANCE TO PAYMENTS TOTAL TIME FROM ENACTMENT TO PAYMENTS
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) 

  • 13 weeks continuation
12/27/2020 12/31/2020 12/31/2020 0 days 4 days
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) 

  • 11 additional weeks
12/27/2020 12/31/2020 01/31/21*
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) 

  • 39 weeks continuation
12/27/2020 04/05/2020, 05/15/2020,
07/21/2020, 08/27/2020
1/12/2021
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) 

  • 11 additional weeks
12/27/2020 01/08/2021 02/26/2021*
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) 

  • New applications
12/27/2020 01/08/2021 02/06/2021*
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) 

  • $300 supplement
12/27/2020 01/05/2021 01/12/2021 

  • PUA 39 Weeks

01/16/2021

  • Reg UI
  • PEUC 13 Weeks
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) 12/27/2020 01/05/2021 TBD

*Indicates target dates

Last Updated: January 21, 2021

 

Unemployment Insurance Charges

The State of Ohio has modified eligibility for employees who lose their jobs as a result of a coronavirus-related shut down in order to provide benefits more efficiently to those impacted.  For employers, the State has indicated that the State is allowing 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.  For more information about unemployment insurance charges, please go to: http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm

Additionally, for employers forced to layoff employees as a result of the epidemic, Ohio has provided a common WARN number to speed the processing of unemployment benefits.  The common WARN number is 2000180. For more information on WARN, click here.

 

No Wi-Fi? No problem.

In an effort to provide those residents, employees and employers with WiFi connectivity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Summit County libraries are providing free internet access from their respective parking lots. For those in need of this free service, please visit the main website here, where you will find directions, availability and other helpful instructions on how to utilize their free services.

HFLA of Northeast Ohio Emergency Loans for Individuals

HFLA of Northeast Ohio is offering $1,500 emergency loans for individuals.  These loans are being expedited and do not require a guarantor.  These loans can be used to replay lost wages, pay for emergency medical expenses, or pay for unexpected childcare expenses due to school or daycare closures.  Find the application form here.

United Way of Summit County Financial Empowerment Centers

Financial Empowerment Center coaches are ready to help individuals navigate financial challenges that they may be experiencing due to COVID-19.  Financial coaching is free and available to any individual who lives or works in Summit County.  Click here to learn more about the United Way's Financial Empowerment Centers.  Click here for additional resources related to personal finances that could be helpful for individuals and employees during this time.

Paid Sick Leave & Family Medical Leave (FMLA)

Emergency Paid Sick Leave

All current employees, including part-time employees, of public employers or private employers with less than 500 employees are eligible for emergency paid sick leave.  An employee is entitled to this leave if the employee is unable to work (or telework) for any of the following reasons:

  • The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
  • The employee is caring for a son or daughter whose school or daycare has been closed or if the son or daughter’s childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
  • The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of the Department of Labor.

FMLA Caregiver Paid Leave

Under the new law, if an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to the need for leave to care for a son or daughter under 18 years of age because of a school closure, a daycare closure, or because a child care provider is unavailable due to a reason related to COVID-19, then that employee is entitled to paid FMLA leave.

Changes to Paid Leave

Under the CARES Act, paid FMLA leave is capped at $200/day and $10,000 in aggregate.  Paid sick leave is capped at $511/day and $5,110 in aggregate; this amount drops to $200/day and $2,000 in aggregate for sick leave taken to care for a family member or because of a school closure.  Workers who are laid off after March 1, 2020, but then rehired are eligible for paid FMLA leave.

Banking & Insurance Relief Programs

The Ohio Bankers League is compiling a list of payment deferral programs, fee waivers, and other relief measures, for both consumer and business clients.  Details on these relief measures, including contact information for each institution, can be found here.

Many insurance carriers have announced their assistance in modifying premium payment terms, including introducing grace periods, new cancellation terms, waived late fees, and more.  Click here to find a list of such programs offered by various insurance carriers.

Assistance for Food Service Industry Workers

Several programs exist, or have recently been announced, to provide emergency assistance to food service industry workers, including waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and their dependents.  Below are a few of those resources:

Employment Opportunities & Other Resources

For those seeking employment opportunities as a result of a loss of employment, please visit the OhioMeansJobs Summit County website at https://www.summitomj.org/now-hiring.  While the OhioMeansJobs Summit County Center is currently closed to the public due to the epidemic, resources for job seekers are still available online.  Times are difficult for most employers, but some employers are hiring workers at this time.

OhioMeansJobs Summit County is now offering virtual workshops for job seekers during the COVID-19 closure. Three video series are available – Applicant Tracking Systems, What’s In a Resume, and Answering Common Interview Questions. In the Applicant Tracking Systems series, you will learn about common tracking systems used by employers and why your application might get flagged as well as tips on how to make sure your submission gets through. What’s In a Resume discusses common resume myths, items to highlight in your resume, and what key features should always be included. Answering Common Interview Questions covers how to answer questions commonly asked during job interviews that many find difficult. The series will not only provide answers to these interview questions but also insight as to why employers ask them.  Visit https://www.summitomj.org/who-we-serve/individuals/virtual-workshops to explore these virtual workshops. You may also register for a virtual, one-on-one OMJ orientation by visiting https://tinyurl.com/omjscvirtual.

RAISE: Good Jobs for Greater Akron is a resource for jobseekers and displaced workers to apply for open jobs and to access other resources including the internet, low-cost computers, workshops, and training.  For more information, click here.

For additional resources for economic support for individuals and families throughout the state of Ohio, visit the Ohio Department of Public Health's COVID-19 webpage.