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Job & Family Services Unemployment Compensation FAQ's
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Frequently Asked Questions
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In order to best protect confidential and other important data, the ODJFS website will no longer support several outdated web browsers. Effective December 5, Internet Explorer 6 or older, Opera 4 or older and Netscape Navigator will no longer work on ODJFS sites that are https-enabled. Individuals can download the most recent version of Internet Explorer here and the most recent version of Opera here.

1. How can I apply for unemployment benefits?  Link to Translation Services information
   
Ohio has two ways to file for unemployment benefits.
    
The fastest and easiest way is to file online at unemployment.ohio.gov. You can file

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t have access to a computer, visit your 
local library or OhioMeansJobs center, where computers are available for public use. 
To find the nearest OhioMeansJobs center, visit OhioMeansJobs.com and click on the 
icon for OhioMeansJobs centers or call (888) 296-7541.

Or you can file for unemployment benefits by phone Monday through Friday (except 
holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling (877) 644-6562 or TTY (614) 387-8408.  

For more information, see page 5 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment.

For step-by-step instructions on how to apply for benefits online, see the Worker’s Self-Service User Guide.
  
  
2. What is a Monetary Affidavit?
  
    
If you applied for unemployment benefits and receive a Monetary Affidavit, this means more information is needed about your case. The affidavit contains information verified by your former employer(s), including the number of weeks you worked and the amount of wages you earned. Review it carefully. If there are errors or missing wages, enter the correct information in the appropriate boxes. Also gather any verifiable proof of your corrections, such as copies of your W2 or pay stubs. Sign and date the affidavit and return it by the deadline date to either the fax number or the mailing address on the form. Be sure to include the documents that prove your correction was accurate.

For more information, see page 10 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment.
  
  
3. How long does it take for my application to process so I can receive a determination and payment?
   
Typically three to four weeks, depending on whether additional information is needed from you or your former employer.

You should file an application as soon as you become unemployed. If you are approved to receive benefits, payments will begin immediately after your “waiting week.” The waiting week is the first week claimed in a benefit year in which you meet all eligibility requirements. Ohio law prohibits benefits from being paid for the waiting week.

For more information, see page 11 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment.
  
  
4. What does it mean if my claim has “eligibility issues”?
    
It means more information is needed about your case, possibly because of how you responded to one or more questions on your application or weekly claim. These issues must be resolved before payments can be released.
      
For more information, see pages 10-11 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment.
  
  
5. Why do you need a copy of a Social Security card for processing my application?
     
Federal and Ohio law require individuals to furnish their Social Security number when applying for unemployment benefits. Taxpayers have the right to expect, and Ohio has the obligation to ensure, that benefits are properly paid where they should be.

If you suspect unemployment fraud, please report it at unemployment.ohio.gov or by calling (800) 686-1555.


6. Why do I have to seek work if I am returning to my last employer or I have a definite return-to-work date?
      
In most cases, claimants are required to seek work while receiving unemployment benefits. Your work-search requirement may be waived if you expect to return to work within 45 days AND if your employer verifies this information. It also could be waived if you are enrolled in an approved training or if you’re a member in good standing with a union that refers individuals to jobs.

If your expected return-to-work date is longer than 45 days, your work search will not be waived.

If you are required to seek work, you must register with OhioMeansJobs.com to complete reemployment activities.

For more information, see pages 22-24 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment.
  
   
7. How do I file a weekly claim?
      
The fastest and easiest way is to log into your account at unemployment.ohio.gov. You can file 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t have access to a computer, visit your local library or OhioMeansJobs center, where computers are available for public use. To find the nearest OhioMeansJobs center, visit OhioMeansJobs.com and click on the icon for OhioMeansJobs centers or call (888) 296-7541.

Or you can file a weekly claim by phone Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling (877) 644-6562 or TTY (888) 642-8203.

For step-by-step instructions on how to file a weekly claim online, see the Weekly Claim Flyer.
  
  
8. How do I properly report earnings or income on my claim?
    
You must answer all questions honestly and correctly. Report any gross (before-tax) earnings for work performed while claiming unemployment benefits. Also report any other income you may have received while claiming unemployment benefits. Report any earnings during the week you earned them, not the week you were paid them. Here’s an example showing how to calculate gross earnings:
    

10 hours worked X $10 per hour = $100 gross earnings to report on your weekly claim
     
For more information, see page 25 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment.

For step-by-step instructions on how to file a weekly claim online, see the Weekly Claim Flyer.
  
  
9. How do I get paid UI benefits?
      
When you file your application, you can choose to be paid by debit card or by direct deposit to your checking or savings account. For direct deposit, you must provide your bank's name, complete address, routing number and your account number.
 
unemp_check

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If you choose to be paid by debit card, you will receive a U.S. Bank ReliaCard Visa, and your payments will be automatically deposited to it. You can use the money on the ReliaCard Visa for purchases everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. You also can withdraw cash from the ReliaCard at banks displaying the Visa logo or from the U.S. Bank or Visa/PLUS® ATM. ATM withdrawals at U.S. Bank or MoneyPass ATMs are free. Other banks will charge a fee. Find the nearest location at locations.usbank.com/search or MoneyPass.com. ODJFS can transfer unemployment benefits only to U.S. Bank ReliaCard reloadable debit cards. It cannot transfer benefits to any other type of credit or debit card. 

Note: ODJFS does not guarantee a certain day of the week when payments will be available to you. Furthermore, no federal or state law requires ODJFS to refund costs associated with writing bad checks. Therefore, the agency will not repay overdraft charges if you write a check with insufficient funds in your account. It is up to you to make sure there is enough money in your account before writing a check. 

To report a card lost or stolen, or if you did not receive your card, call US Bank ReliaCard Customer Service at (855) 254-9198.
  
  
10. How do I file an appeal if I don’t agree with my determination?
      
If you disagree with any decision made regarding your claim, you should file an appeal and continue to file claims for any weeks you are unemployed. You must file the appeal within 21 days from the date the determination was issued. You can do so online at unemployment.ohio.gov, by fax or by mail to the ODJFS processing center identified on your determination notice. Appeal instructions are listed at the bottom of your determination. If you have questions, call (877) 574-0015 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This number is toll-free.

For more information, see page 30 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment.
  
  
11. How many weeks of unemployment can I receive?
   
Most claimants can receive a maximum 20 to 26 weeks of benefits during a 12-month period.


12. How do I request a new PIN?
      
If you believe someone knows your PIN, if you forgot your PIN, or if you want to change your PIN for any reason, you may reset it online at unemployment.ohio.gov. You also may request a new one by calling (877) 644-6562 or your assigned processing center.

Remember: Even if you forget or lose your PIN, you still may access your claim by entering your user name and correctly answering the PIN hint question, or by providing the email address already on file with ODJFS.

If you enter the PIN incorrectly three times in a row, you must reset it. You can reset your PIN and immediately receive the new PIN if you have an email address on file with ODJFS. If you do not have an email address on file with ODJFS, the new PIN will be sent by U.S. mail.

If you would like to receive your new PIN immediately but do not have an email address on file, or if your email address changed since you last filed, please call (877) 644-6562 to provide your current email address.

For more information, see page 7 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment.
  
  
13. Why do I have to restart my claim?
    
You may need to restart your claim if there was a break in filing your weekly claims. This could have happened because:
  • You earned more than your weekly benefit amount
  • You had a week of work followed by a week of no work, regardless of earnings
  • You stopped filing weekly claims for any other reason
    For more information, see page 28 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment or page 16 of the Worker’s Self-Service User Guide.
      
      
    14. What does it mean if my payment is in “pay held” status?
         
    It means your claim has an unresolved issue that must be resolved before payment can be made. Please check your correspondence to ensure you have provided all requested information. If you have questions, please call your assigned processing center Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    You can find the number for your processing center on page 38 of the Worker's Guide to Unemployment
      
      
    15. How do I upload my resume on OhioMeansJobs.com?
          
    For step-by-step instructions, see Creating or Uploading a Resume in OhioMeansJobs.com: DESK AID | VIDEO

    You must create or upload your resume by the due date listed on your New Claimant Instruction Sheet.

    If you have questions or need assistance, call (888) 296-7541 and select option # 2.
      
        
    16. How do I complete my career assessment on OhioMeansJobs.com?
         
    For step-by-step instructions, see Creating a Career Profile in OhioMeansJobs.com: DESK AID | VIDEO

    You must complete this assessment by the due date listed in your New Claimant Instruction Sheet.

    If you have questions or need assistance, call (888) 296-7541 and select option #2.
      
         
    17. Why can’t I respond to a new message in my unemployment account inbox?
         
    It’s possible the deadline to respond has passed, the issue has already been resolved or, in rare cases, an older browser on your computer is incompatible.
        
        
    18. How do I notify the agency that I have returned to work full time or no longer need unemployment benefits?
          
    Simply stop filing weekly claims. If you become unemployed again or wish to file for unemployment later, you can do so at unemployment.ohio.gov or by calling (877) 644-6562.
         
           
    19. I received a notice that I was overpaid benefits. How can I pay back this overpayment?
         
    You can repay your overpayment online by credit card or bank draft or by sending a check or money order by mail. For more information, visit jfs.ohio.gov/ouc/RepayOverpayment.stm
         

    20. I exhausted my benefits, and I haven’t yet found a job. Can I get an extension?
          
    Currently, no federal or state extended benefits are available. However, here are some other sources of help:

    If you’re looking for a job, visit OhioMeansJobs.com.
    To apply for cash, food or child care assistance, visit jfs.ohio.gov.
    To apply for Medicaid, visit Ohio Benefits.
    For information about the Women, Infants and Children program, visit the Ohio Department of Health.
    If you need assistance with housing, visit the Ohio Housing Finance Agency or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    For help paying your home heating bills, visit the Ohio Development Services Agency.
    For help paying your telephone bill, visit the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio