Coronavirus crisis: More than $7.2 billion in unemployment compensation paid out to Ohioans in last 34 weeks

Coronavirus crisis: More than $7.2 billion in unemployment compensation paid out to Ohioans in last 34 weeks
Ohio's jobless claims last week skyrocketed to their highest since 1981 amid the coronavirus crisis. (Source: File)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported 21,868 people filed for initial unemployment last week (Nov. 1-7) to the U.S. Department of Labor, which brings the total of unemployment claims filed in Ohio over the last 34 weeks to 1,850,676.

To put that total into perspective, the total number of claims for the last 34 weeks is more than the combined total of unemployment claims filed over the last four years, according to ODJFS.

However, ODJFS said that last week’s unemployment filings were 252,347 fewer than, or 8% of, the peak earlier this year.

ODJFS said Ohioans filed 260,855 continued jobless claims last week, which was 515,447 fewer than, or about 34% of, the peak earlier this year.

This includes both traditional unemployment claims and claims for extended benefits.

Over these last 34 weeks, ODJFS said they have issued unemployment compensation payments totaling more than $7.2 billion to more than 839,000 claimants.

ODJFS said of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, 95% have been processed with only 5% pending.

Additionally, ODJFS said more than 671,000 Ohioans applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and ODJFS issued more than $6.9 billion in PUA payments.

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.

ODJFS' Ohio To Work initiative is underway to help displaced workers reskill and restart their careers.

There is also an $8.5 million National Dislocated Worker Grant that will help unemployed workers and employers impacted by COVID-19, and a $9.4 million grant to expand apprenticeship opportunities.

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