Ohio hoping to take advantage of President Trump’s executive order to extend unemployment benefits

DeWine hoping to have feds waive a stipulation requiring state to contribute 25 percent to the benefit amount.

Ohio hoping to take advantage of President’s executive order extending unemployment benefits

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The $600 weekly CARES Act unemployment benefit ran out at the end of July, and without a congressional plan in place to replace those benefits, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to divert funds from FEMA to pay for additional benefits.

President Trump wants to extend the benefit by contributing $400 weekly, but wants state’s to kick in 25 percent of that. But, Gov. Mike DeWine has already said that the state cannot afford to pay that portion of the benefit.

The governor, however, says the state is working on a plan to have the federal government count, as their contribution, money that the state has already paid in unemployment benefits, that would reduce the weekly benefit to $300.

“I thank them, I thank the Trump Administration for doing this and they have indicated to us that we can take $300 dollars and get this money out and that’s what we intend to do,” Governor DeWine said

Kimberly Hall, the Director of Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services is also hopeful the state can have their portion waived.

“They would allow us to count the investment we’ve already made to individuals, the $100 payments that have already gone out the door,” Hall said.

The best case scenario is that Congress can find a way to negotiate a deal that would eliminate the uncertainty, and maybe increase the benefit from $300, which is a cut from the original CARES Act benefit of $600.

“The reduced amount, as well as the wait that would be involved as we start up the new program will cause additional stress and financial hardship,” Hall said, “And I deeply regret that.”

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