CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) released the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits since Gov. Mike DeWine started closing some businesses due to COVID-19.
Last week 3,895 people filed for unemployment in Ohio.
This week, that number skyrocketed to 111,055, an increase of 2,751%.
After the shutdown of restaurants and bars on Sunday, the state removed many of the restrictions to file claims, like the one-week waiting period to file.
ODJFS also did away with the requirement to prove a person is actively looking for a new job.
The large amount of people filing by phone or online might be an issue for the state’s systems.
Some on social media claim to be having problems getting through to the system, but a spokesperson for ODJFS said there is no issue on the state’s end.
“We have heard that at least three states’ (Kentucky, Oregon and New York) unemployment systems crashed while Ohio’s system keeps chugging away," an email said from ODJFS. “All things being equal, most Ohioans can expect to receive a benefit payment within a week of applying if they use the mass-layoff number and they’re otherwise eligible. The weekly benefit amount is typically half the claimant’s previous wages up to a set maximum.”
Here are the best links to use, provided by ODJFS:
- Filing a claim online remains the best way for Ohioans to access unemployment benefits at https://unemployment.ohio.gov/.
- For FAQs to help Ohioans at http://jfs.ohio.gov/unemp_comp_faq/index.stm
- Unemployment-related coronavirus Q&A at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm
- Ohioans without computer access need to call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB).