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Employer: Frequently Asked Questions

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Unemployment Eligibility

Yes, unemployment benefits will be available for eligible Ohioans who lose their job due to their employer shutting down operations or laying off workers as a result of loss of production caused by COVID-19. For eligibility details, please visit unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/employee. Employees that do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits due to insufficient hours or wages may be eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program offered through the federal CARES Act. For details regarding expanded eligibility, please visit unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/expandedeligibility and follow our official accounts on Twitter and Facebook.
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.
No, this does not impact their unemployment benefits.
No. Unemployment benefits are available only if you are unemployed. Employees on FMLA through their employer are not unemployed.
Employees that do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits due to insufficient hours or wages may be eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program offered through the federal CARES Act. For details regarding expanded eligibility, please visit unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/expandedeligibility and follow our official accounts on Twitter and Facebook.

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/employer and clicking on "COVID-19 Return to Work Guidelines".

Unemployment Application Process

Due to COVID-19, please email ALL WARNs and inquiries to rapdresp@jfs.ohio.gov until further notice.
Please distribute this Step-by-Step Guide to employees laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic 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. 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 7 a.m. to 6 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, charges during Ohio's emergency declaration period will be mutualized. Reimbursing employers will follow existing charging requirements under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4141.
Yes, an executive order issued by Governor DeWine allows unemployment benefit charges to be mutualized for contributory employers.

The filing deadline for first, second, third and fourth quarter 2020 reports was not extended. However, Executive Order 2020-03D waives penalties for late reporting and payments during Ohio's emergency declaration period.

Contributory Employers

For contributory employers that submit their first, second, third and/or fourth quarter 2020 reports and/or tax payments late, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will waive the late reporting penalty and interest once the reports are filed and taxes paid in full. For late reports and payments received between May 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021, ODJFS will automatically waive the late penalty and interest and not require employers to submit waivers. For late reports and payments received after January 31, 2021, employers will be required to submit waiver requests. ODJFS will waive the late reporting penalty and interest once waivers are received and processed.

Please note: Tax payments must have been received by July 31, 2020, to be included in the 2021 rate calculation.

Reimbursing Employers

For reimbursing employers that submit their reimbursing payments late on monthly statements during the emergency declaration, ODJFS will waive interest once full payments are received. The relief of interest is for reimbursing charges beginning in March 2020 and through the emergency declaration period. After January 31, 2021, reimbursing employers must request waivers of interest associated with payments made for months within the emergency declaration period. ODJFS will waive interest on late payments once waivers are received and processed.

For reimbursing employers that submit their first, second, third and/or fourth 2020 reports late, ODJFS will waive late reporting penalties once the reports are filed. If late reports are received between May 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021, ODJFS will automatically waive the late penalty and not require employers to submit waivers. If late reports are received after January 31, 2021, employers will be required to submit waiver requests.

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, but Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is available and is a similar program. Please visit unemployment.ohio.gov/expandedeligibility for more information.
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 allows 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) are credited for the charges incurred once ODJFS recoups the funds (from the perpetrator and/or other sources, such as banks).

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. Claimants will be paid only for weeks when they were actually unemployed.