New Rules for Unemployment Claimants
Recently passed legislation brings changes to unemployment eligibility rules. Beginning April 11, 2014:
- Claimants who file a new application for unemployment benefits will be automatically registered with the OhioMeansJobs online job-matching system.
In addition, if you don’t already have a resume posted on OhioMeansJobs, a temporary resume will be created and posted for you.
- In addition, you must apply for work with two employers each week.
If your application indicates an expected return-to-work date, verification from an employer will be requested.
If you indicated that you are a student or in a union, proof of student or union status will be required, as well.
If verified, your work search requirement may be waived.
- Unless your work-search requirement has been waived, you must complete additional reemployment activities.
Each reemployment activity must be completed by a specified date, as indicated on your New Claim Instruction Sheet.
If these activities are not completed by the required deadlines, your benefits will STOP until they are completed.
For more information about OhioMeansJobs registration, your resume and reemployment activities, CLICK HERE
Receive Benefits Once a Week
If you wish to receive benefits once a week instead of every two weeks, just choose to get correspondence notices via
email instead of U.S. mail. If you do, you’ll get an email notice whenever a new correspondence has been posted to your
account. To make this change, log on to unemployment.ohio.gov, select "Update Personal Information" and add your
email address. Then choose "email" as your preferred method of correspondence notice.
You also could call (877) 644-6562 for staff assistance.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), has learned of a potential scam in which callers identifying themselves as representatives from the Office of Unemployment Compensation call claimants and ask them to provide personal information, including bank account information, over the phone.
Customers who are contacted by individuals requesting personal information should use extreme caution. If you receive a call that you suspect might be a scam, ask for the name of the person you are speaking with. Then call the phone number provided on your most recent Office of Unemployment Compensation correspondence, or send us a message through our secure web page: https://secure.jfs.ohio.gov/feedback/ouc/index.stm.
Treasury Offset Program
Ohio is collecting unpaid, fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits through the Treasury Offset Program (TOP). This program allows state agencies to collect outstanding debts by intercepting federal income tax returns.
In most cases, fraud occurs when people attempt to collect unemployment benefits while they are working or after they return to work. Fraud also can occur when people intentionally provide false information about the reasons they are no longer working, collect unemployment compensation from another state while also collecting from Ohio, or are not actively seeking work.
To avoid TOP collection, individuals will need to settle all outstanding unemployment debt with ODJFS or Ohio's Attorney General as soon as possible.
An Important Message for EUC Claimants
The federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or EUC, program ended on December 28, 2013.
Therefore, no EUC payments will be issued for any weeks of unemployment occurring after December 28, 2013.
Effective February 16, 2014, it will no longer be possible to file EUC applications or weekly claims unless new legislation is enacted.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services remains committed to helping Ohioans during their time of need.
We urge anyone looking for work to view job opportunities and post their resumes online at www.ohiomeansjobs.com
We also encourage you to visit your nearest OhioMeansJobs Center for help with resume development, career planning, job search skills and more.
To find the center nearest you, call 1-877-US2JOBS.
For more information about other assistance you may be eligible for, go to http://jfs.ohio.gov
News for Mobile Device Users
Starting on Friday, Jan. 24, it will become easier to file weekly claims for benefits using mobile devices. Beginning then, anyone who logs into unemployment.ohio.gov with a mobile device will be automatically directed to a new mobile version of this website. Users will be able to conveniently and quickly file their weekly claims or change their personal identification number (PIN), without having to access the full site. Of course, if you need to do something other than file your weekly claim or reset your pin, you still can access the full site. Simply click on the "Full Site" link under the banner.
New Requirement for Reemployment Services
Recently passed legislation could affect your benefits.
Beginning October 11, 2013
, if you are scheduled to attend a reemployment service session in person or to complete a reemployment service activity, but you fail to do so by the scheduled date, your benefits will stop until you complete the required action.
- If you are scheduled for a reemployment service activity, you will be sent a Schedule Notice. Be sure to check your mail (email and/or US mail) on a daily basis so that you do not miss any important notices.
- If you miss an appointment, you will need to reschedule. If no immediate session openings are available, you may lose benefits for a week or more until another opening is available.
Please note that you are expected to attend reemployment service sessions or complete reemployment service activities just as you are expected to go to job interviews offered by employers. If you are unable to attend a session or complete an activity by the scheduled date, you must contact the local OhioMeansJobs Center listed on your Schedule Notice to reschedule.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has learned of a potential scam in which callers pose as employees of state unemployment compensation agencies in an attempt to obtain fees for representing customers during an appeal process.
We remind all of our customers that there is never a fee for our services.
Customers who are contacted by individuals requesting a fee or personal information should use extreme caution.
If you receive this or a similar request, please call ODJFS at 1-800-686-1555.
New YouTube Videos for Individuals and Employers
The ODJFS Office of Unemployment Compensation has produced several new YouTube videos to help our customers better understand our services and their responsibilities. To view them, just click on the links below.
Watch for additional YouTube
videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/OhioJFS.
Work and Earnings
The most common - and avoidable - overpayments occur when claimants return to work and fail to report it on their weekly claims.
Every week, claimants are asked: "Did you work or were you self-employed during the week being claimed?" If you worked but will be paid at a later date, you still must answer "yes" and provide the earnings for that week.
Claimants who intentionally withhold information, or provide false information, in an effort to collect benefits have committed fraud.
Ohio law calls it "fraudulent misrepresentation" and the penalties include:
- Repayment of all benefits paid in error,
- Withholding unpaid amounts from future benefits,
- Ineligibility for two future allowable weeks of benefits for each fraudulent misrepresentation,
- Starting on October 21, 2013, a 25% penalty on all benefits paid due to fraudulent misrepresentation.
In addition, any unpaid balances are subject to federal and state income tax withholding.
Please properly report work and earning on your weekly claims. If you believe you may have incorrectly reported work and/or earnings, contact your assigned processing center, or call 1-877-644-6562, to speak with a customer service representative.
New Employer Charging
ODJFS is working hard to reduce improper payments to individuals that are ultimately found to be ineligible for unemployment compensation. But we can't do it alone. ODJFS relies on information from employers to help us determine whether someone is eligible for compensation.
Starting on October 21, 2013, it will be more important than ever for employers to respond promptly and completely to requests for information regarding unemployment claims.
Beginning on October 21, in accordance with Ohio House Bill 37, employers that repeatedly fail to respond promptly and adequately to requests for information may be charged for any benefits paid to individuals later determined to be ineligible.
These charges can lead to an increase in an employer's tax rate.
ODJFS is asking all employers to help reduce improper payments by responding timely and accurately to all agency requests for information.
Don't put your tax rate at risk. If you're not sure how to respond or what type of information to provide, please call us at 1-877-644-6562. We're eager to assist you.
Most Recent Employment
Applicants for unemployment compensation are reminded that they are required to provide accurate information about their most recent employment (including part-time work, temporary work, self-employment and work for which the employer is not required to pay unemployment taxes) and the reason for being unemployed from such work. If you worked less than six weeks in your most recent employment, you will need to provide accurate information about your next most recent employment.
Applicants who misrepresent employment information may be considered to have falsified their application for benefits. Individuals who falsify their unemployment compensation application will have their benefit rights immediately canceled, have their weekly benefit amount and their total benefits payable reduced to zero, and be required to repay the total amount of benefits canceled.
Self-Employment Training Program (Lorain and Cuyahoga Counties)
If you’re interested in starting a small business in your field of expertise and live in Lorain or Cuyahoga counties, you may be able to get help from the Self-Employment Training Program, a pilot program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. This program is available for only a limited time. For more information,
Reporting Questionable Employer Practices
The Office of Unemployment Compensation’s Compliance section employs a team of auditors who audit employer records to ensure compliance with state and federal unemployment compensation tax laws. They protect the integrity of the UC trust fund by investigating tips and leads regarding fraudulent activity and by using a variety of sources to identify employers who improperly classify employees as independent contractors in order to avoid paying UC taxes.
It is the goal of the Compliance section to ensure that all employers pay their fair share of UC taxes to uphold a level playing field. Click here for more information
To report questionable employer practices, please e-mail us at UC_Compliance@jfs.ohio.gov or call us at 1-800-686-1555 and select option 2.
Save the Dream (Assistance with Mortgage Payments)
The State of Ohio has resources to help families struggling to make their mortgage payments after experiencing
a job loss or reduction in income. As a result of a federal initiative to provide financial assistance to
families in states hardest hit by the national foreclosure crisis, Ohio received $570 million to help
homeowners stay in their homes. These funds are distributed through Restoring Stability:
A Save the Dream Ohio Initiative.
Four programs are available:
- Rescue Payment Assistance
- Partial Mortgage Payment Assistance
- Modification Assistance with Principal Reduction
- Transition Assistance
To learn more or to apply for assistance, visit www.savethedream.ohio.gov
or call 888-404-4674.
When to File an Application for Unemployment Benefits
You should file your application as soon as you become unemployed. Your claim will begin the Sunday of the calendar week in which it is filed. Waiting more than a full week to file your application will postpone the beginning of your claim, and no benefits will be paid for weeks of unemployment that occur prior to the week of filing. Even if you need to serve the required waiting week or you are receiving separation pay from your employer, do not hesitate in filing your application for unemployment benefits.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: for Parents With Child Support Orders
If you have a child support order in Ohio and you have encountered a lay-off or plant closing,
you may already qualify to have your child support case reviewed and adjusted.
For more information, please visit the Ohio Office of Child Support website at: http://jfs.ohio.gov/Ocs/index.stm