Changes to Unemployment Programs
Find the latest updates and resources on the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services' Employer Resource Hub for coronavirus and unemployment insurance benefits.
Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance (LWA)
LWA was made possible by an executive memorandum issued on August 8, 2020. The program provides grants to participating states to use Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding to provide supplemental assistance to individuals who are partially or totally unemployed, or working reduced hours under a SharedWork Ohio plan, because of COVID-19. Ohio applied for a grant and was approved to provide weekly $300 supplemental payments to eligible individuals receiving regular unemployment benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Trade benefits, SharedWork Ohio benefits and extended unemployment benefits for one or more weeks ending August 1 through September 5, 2020.
For more information on how to apply for expanded unemployment benefits, please click HERE.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
PUA provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to many who historically have not qualified for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers, part-time workers, and those who lack sufficient work history. Individuals who have exhausted all regular unemployment and any federal and state extensions also may be eligible. PUA is available through December 31, 2020. To be eligible, individuals must not qualify for regular unemployment benefits and must meet one of the following circumstances:
- The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms and is seeking medical
- A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- The individual is providing care for a family member or member of the household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 emergency, and the school or care is required for the individual to
- The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health
- The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because a healthcare professional has advised him or her to self-quarantine due to COVID-19
- The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19.
- The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19.
- The individual has quit his/her job as a direct result of COVID-19.
- The individual was laid off as a direct result of COVID-19.
- The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
- For more information on how to apply for expanded unemployment benefits, please click HERE.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
FPUC provides an additional $600 a week to existing benefit amounts for those in multiple programs, including but not limited to regular unemployment benefits, PUA, Trade benefits, and SharedWork Ohio benefits. The first payment includes any retroactive payments claimants may be eligible for. This payment was available from April 4 through July 25.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
PEUC provides up to 13 weeks of additional benefits for Ohioans who exhaust their maximum 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits. This program also began on March 29; it will end on December 26. Those who are eligible will receive instructions for how to apply.
For those unemployed Ohioans who don't qualify for regular unemployment benefits, Ohioans can begin applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and get information on other COVID-19 related unemployment support HERE.
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.
Beauty Changes Lives - Beauty Industry Relief Grants
Beauty Changes Lives, a nonprofit driven to make the beauty profession a first-choice career, is accepting applications for $1,000 grants to beauty professionals or students of beauty programs that are currently not earning an income. Applicants who are chosen to receive the grant will be contacted by May 22, 2020. For more information on program eligibility and to apply, click 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.
Extension to Filing Taxes
The deadline to file 2019 federal, state, and municipal income tax returns and pay any applicable 2019 taxes has been extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
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.