CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported 34,575 people filed for unemployment last week (May 24-30) to the U.S. Department of Labor, which brings the total of unemployment claims filed in Ohio over the last 11 weeks to 1,292,413.
To put that total into perspective, the total number of claims for the last 11 weeks is 140,381 more than the combined total of 1,117,457 unemployment claims filed over the last three years, according to ODJFS.
Here is the number of claims filed for the past five weeks:
- Week 1: 196,309
- Week 2: 272,105
- Week 3: 226,007
- Week 4: 158,678
- Week 5: 109,369
- Week 6: 92,920
- Week 7: 61,083
- Week 8: 51,125
- Week 9: 46,062
- Week 10: 42,082
Over these last 11 weeks, ODJFS said they have issued unemployment compensation payments totaling more than $3.5 billion to more than 668,000 claimants.
ODJFS said of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, nearly 94% have been processed with only 6% pending.
Additionally, OJFS said more than 166,000 Ohioans applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and ODJFS issued more than $1.1 billion in PUA payments.
According to ODJFS:
"Each claim is important to us, and we recognize the hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on many Ohio families. We are expanding staff support, working longer hours and adding more technological capacity so that we can serve Ohioans as quickly as possible.
All eligible Ohioans will receive their unemployment benefits – and any delays in processing their claims will not reduce the amount received. ODJFS will not rest until all eligible Ohioans are served."
In order to handle all the unemployment claims, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted has added staff and tech capacity to the unemployment hotline.
“Pre-pandemic, there were 42 people working in the call center, and that was sufficient to do that work that it was being asked to do.,” according to Lt. Gov. Husted.
OJFS previously said that more than 1,600 staff members are now taking calls, with plans to launch a virtual call center by the end of this week.
Lt. Gov. Husted said, “The bottom line is this process will not stop improving until everybody is served and that everything that you’re eligible for will be backdated to that time."
All eligible Ohioans will receive their unemployment benefits – and any delays in processing their claims will not reduce the amount received.
Also, workers who lost their job related to COVID-19 can use this number to expedite your claim through the system: 2000180.
However, if affected individuals already submitted claims without this number, they do not need to add it.
Filing a claim online remains the best way for Ohioans to access unemployment benefits at https://unemployment.ohio.gov/.
Ohioans without computer access need to call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.
Though online profiles will show that your next day to reapply for benefits is “Sunday,” the unemployment office is asking people to do their claims based on the schedule they released.
People with last names that start with A through H are urged to file Sunday; I through P file on Monday; and Q through Z should do theirs on Tuesday.
There is also a new website listing current open jobs in Ohio: http://Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/JobSearch.
Employers can also go online and post jobs.