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Employer: Frequently Asked Questions

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Unemployment Eligibility

Individuals may be eligible if they are partially or totally unemployed due to no fault of their own; if they were employed for at least 20 weeks during the first four of the last five calendar quarters; if they earned an average weekly wage of at least $280 during the time they were employed; and if they are able, available, and actively seeking work.
Individuals who are partially unemployed due to lack of work may be eligible for benefits. Any earnings from employment during the week claimed may reduce the amount of benefits paid. Earnings equal to or less than 20% of a claimant’s weekly benefit amount will not reduce the amount of benefits paid. Earnings over 20% of the weekly benefit amount will reduce the benefit payment dollar for dollar. Earnings equal to or over the benefit amount will result in no benefits for that week.
It depends on the individual circumstances. Your employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits only if they are partially or totally unemployed due to no fault of their own; if they were employed for at least 20 weeks during the first four of the last five calendar quarters; if they earned an average weekly wage of at least $280 during the time they were employed; and if they are able, available, and actively seeking work.
No. Unemployment benefits are available only if you are unemployed. Employees on FMLA through their employer are not unemployed.

Returning to work during the pandemic is a delicate balance of gradually re-opening the economy while providing safe working environments. ODJFS is required by law to ensure that unemployment benefits are issued in accordance with established eligibility requirements. We first encourage employers to engage in dialogue with an employee who expresses reluctance to return to work about the measures that employers are taking to help employees feel safe. It is our expectation that in most situations employers and employees will be able to work together to ensure a safe environment for employees to return to work.

The ODJFS process for determining whether to deny unemployment benefits for a refusal to return to work existed prior to the pandemic. The Return to Work Guidelines provide employer access to online reporting, which is more efficient than calling or emailing information. The analysis centers around whether good cause exists for refusing an offer of suitable work. That determination involves these factors: prior training and work experience, wages and benefits, travel distance, shift and hours, health and physical fitness, and health and safety. Also as part of the process, facts will be sought from both the employer and employee, and each party will have an opportunity to appeal the decision to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission. Employers can learn more by going to unemployment.ohio.gov and clicking on "Employers: Report Work Refusals/Eligibility Issues".

Unemployment Application Process

Please email ALL WARNs and inquiries to rapdresp@jfs.ohio.gov.
Please distribute this Step-by-Step Guide to employees to expedite their claim process.
Applying online is the quickest way to start receiving unemployment benefits. To apply online, employees should go to unemployment.ohio.gov and click on "Get Started Now". Click here for a step-by-step guide to applying online. If employees don’t have access to a computer, they can apply by phone by calling 877-644-6562. Call center hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Note that it is not possible to apply for unemployment benefits in person.

Tax and Payment Implications During COVID-19

For contributory employers during Ohio's emergency declaration period, charges were mutualized for benefits paid to employees requested by a medical professional, local health authority, or employer to quarantine or isolate. However, the emergency declaration period is no longer in effect.
For contributory employers during Ohio's emergency declaration period, charges were mutualized for benefits paid to employees requested by a medical professional, local health authority, or employer to quarantine or isolate. However, the emergency declaration period is no longer in effect.

During Ohio's emergency declaration period, Executive Order 2020-03D waived penalties for late reporting and payments. However, the emergency declaration period is no longer in effect.

Yes, you can apply for a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plan. Here are the requirements:

  • The request must document the plan or provide a description of the arrangement under which benefits will be paid.
  • The plan should be on letterhead and include contact information for the business. Please include the email address for a contact person.
  • The request must include a citation of legal authority verifying that the benefits would not be wages subject to unemployment tax.
  • Please submit completed plans to UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov with “SUB PLAN” in the subject line.
No, it is not.
SharedWork Ohio is a voluntary layoff aversion program. It allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, the participating employer reduces affected employees' hours in a uniform manner. The participating employee works the reduced hours each week, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours. For the duration of the pandemic, ODJFS is committed to reviewing and responding to all SharedWork Ohio applications within one week of receipt. Learn more here.
Federal stimulus legislation allowed reimbursing employers to receive a 75% credit for any unemployment payments they made for weeks ending April 10, 2021, through September 4, 2021. Reimbursing employers received a 50% credit for unemployment payments made for weeks dating from the start of the pandemic through April 3, 2021.

Please respond timely to these notices and write "fraud/identity theft" on them so that we can investigate the claims and take appropriate actions. The most expedient way for employers to respond to Request for Separation forms is by responding via your online account or by using the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) portal.

Unfortunately, identity theft and unemployment fraud are widespread national challenges. We encourage you to let your employees know about the identity theft reporting portal and other resources available at unemployment.ohio.gov. Both individuals and employers can report identity theft to ODJFS and access other resources by clicking on the "Report Identity Theft" button at unemployment.ohio.gov.

Please visit unemployment.ohio.gov and click on the "Report Identity Theft" button to report the names of affected employees and access other resources. This will allow us to investigate the claims that were filed and take appropriate actions, including correcting the 1099-G forms that they were sent.
For contributory (tax-paying) employers, once we determine that a claim is fraudulent, we mutualize any charges and remove them from the employer’s account. Reimbursing employers (such as nonprofit and government agencies) should continue to pay bills for legitimate claims timely. We are not actively collecting reimbursing employer debt and are working with the U.S. Department of Labor to identify options for reimbursing employers who were billed for claims that have been determined to be fraudulent.
Please notify us as soon as possible by calling our hotline: (833) 658-0394.

Technical Errors, Notifications and Troubleshooting

Typically, you will be able to view correspondence once you receive an email notification that the correspondence is available. If you have correspondence requesting information, you will not be able to open it if the deadline for responding has passed. If you have recently received an error message relating to Adobe, please make sure your default PDF viewer is Adobe Acrobat Reader. For instructions in how to do that in Windows 10, click here.

No action on your part is necessary. In order to expedite processing, this date was automatically populated for all claimants who entered the COVID-19 mass-layoff number, which is no longer used. Claimants will be paid only for weeks when they were actually unemployed.