Coronavirus crisis: fewer than 100,000 Ohioans filed for unemployment last week for first time in 6 weeks
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported 92,920 people filed for unemployment last week (April 19-25) to the U.S. Department of Labor, which is brings the total of unemployment claims filed in Ohio over the last six weeks to 1,057,486.
To put that total into perspective, the total number of claims for the last six weeks is 341,974 more than the combined total of 715,512 unemployment claims filed over the last two years, according to OJFS.
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
Last week, over 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment, bringing the nationwide six-week total to over 30 million.
Over these last six weeks, OJFS said they have issued unemployment compensation payments totaling more than $1.45 billion to more than 481,000 claimants.
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 said last Friday 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.