Ohio (OH) Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) – End of Extra $300 Weekly Benefit, 2021 PUA and PEUC extensions – News and Updates on Missing and Retroactive Payments

The unemployment systems and payments for Ohioans is under the purview of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) and is funded from the Ohio Unemployment Trust Fund. The money in the fund comes from a tax that employers pay the state.

For the past year state unemployment insurance (UI) payments had been supplemented by the now expired federally funded pandemic enhanced unemployment benefits programs that were approved across multiple COVID relief stimulus bills. You can see more on each of these below.

File For Free to Claim Your Stimulus Tax Credits & Missing Payments

Fraud and Retroactive Payments

The ODJFS continues to make retroactive back payments for Ohioans missing out on pandemic unemployment payments. This includes reaching out to over 3,000 claimants believed to have been victims of account takeovers.

Ohio End Extra $300 Weekly Pandemic Unemployment Payment Early

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that ODJFS will stop paying out the $300 p/week federally funded unemployment benefit program by the week ending June 26, 2021. However unlike many other Republican led states ending these programs Ohio will retain the PUA and PEUC programs through to the current September 6th expiry.

The argument for ending the $300 extra weekly payment is that the extra unemployment programs do not incentivize workers to return to work, especially lower income workers who make less than $15 p/hour. Opponents (Democrats) argue that the reason people are not going back to work is due to fears around getting COVID, child care or schooling constraints. You can see more on which states are ending the extra weekly $300 FPUC here and a recent YouTube video I made on this topic.

After the June 26th cut-off date, or from the week beginning June 27th, 2021 the $300 extra weekly payment will cease for all active and new claimants. You can stay connected for updates via the options below.

Note that lawsuits have been filed in Ohio against Governor Mike DeWine to restore Ohio’s participation in the $300 G federal unemployment programs. The case follows temporary injunctions in other states who filed lawsuits.

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2021 Biden ARPA Stimulus Bill Extensions

Under President Biden’s $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan (ARPA), enhanced unemployment benefits have been extended until September 6th (week ending September 4th in Ohio). This includes further extensions to the PUA program, PEUC program, $300 weekly payment under the FPUC program and $100 Mixed Earners (MEUC) program. There were also provisions in the Biden Stimulus package for Unemployment tax breaks on the first $10,200 of benefits received in 2020.

ODJFS Latest News and Status on PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC Payment Schedule/Issues

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued formal guidelines for states to implement the latest extensions. The ODJFS has rolled-out all of the extensions under the ARP program and has begun issuing the supplemental weekly $300 payments to active claimants. Key updates include:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

The extended weeks under the PUA program have now been rolled out and individuals will be notified via email when the additional weeks have been added to their accounts. In order to ensure expanded eligibility, three classifications have been added for PUA claimants when applying (and eventually self-certifying) for benefits. Claimants must select one of the three reasons above when they apply for PUA benefits:

  • Those previously receiving traditional unemployment benefits who refuse to return to work or refuse an offer of work because the workplace is not in compliance with local, state, or national health and safety standards directly related to COVID-19.
  • Those who provide services to an educational institution or educational service agency and are fully or partially unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • Those who are laid off or had their work hours reduced as a direct result of COVID-19.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

The extended weeks to week ending September 4th, 2021 have now been implemented and available to eligible claimants.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

FPUC provides an additional $300 weekly benefit and is now being provided (until week ending September 4th, 2021) to those receiving traditional unemployment benefits, PEUC, and PUA.  

Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation

The Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program provides a supplemental benefit of $100 per week and has been extended through to September 4th, 2021. Ohioans who are eligible for this benefit will receive payments retroactively. Only manual applications are available now for this program while programming is underway to automate this program extension. As of March 11, ODJFS had notified all potentially eligible individuals by their correspondence preference (mail or email) to submit applications by email.

Other Extensions implemented as part of ARPA bill

  • Extends full federal funding for Ohio’s SharedWork program.
  • Authorizes 75% credits to reimbursing employers for traditional unemployment benefit charges.
  • Authorizes full federal funding of the first week of traditional unemployment benefits, instead of 50%.
  • Extends the waiver of interest to states whose Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds require federal borrowing.

Despite the above, several claimants are still experiencing issues with getting paid as you can see in the comments forum below this article. The ODJFS is working through issues and I will post potential responses and updates as they are released so stay tuned via the options below.

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2021 Unemployment Program Extensions Under COVID Relief Bill

The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package was passed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, which among several other pandemic relief measures extends and provides additional federal funding for enhanced unemployment benefits. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and a reinstatement, but halving of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Program which provides a $300 supplemental weekly unemployment payment.

These programs have been funded and extended for 11 weeks (on top of any state funded extensions), covering the weeks of December 26th, 2020 to March 14th, 2021. There is a four week phase out to April 10th, 2021 for PUA and PEUC claimant with remaining weeks after March 14th. To receive the weekly $300 FPUC benefits (maximum 11 weeks), you must be receiving at least $1 of regular UI, PEUC, EB, or PUA.

Ohio Unemployment – 2021 Extensions Payment Update on PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC

[Updated February 11th]: The OJFS has provided new updates on the extended enhanced UI programs as follows. They are running later than originally planned for paying out the extended weeks of benefits to ALL Ohioans.

Those with active benefits under regular UI, EB, PUA (existing 39 weeks with balance remaining) or PEUC (with balance remaining) can continue to file and will are currently getting the extra $300 supplementary payment (effective from week ending January 2nd, 2021).

PUA 11-week Extension Update (Partially implemented): PUA claims can be filed for weeks prior to December 27. Additionally New PUA applications can now be submitted, and most eligible claimants can now access some of the additional 11 weeks. Those who exhausted their original 39 weeks do not need to file a new application or appeal prior determinations to be eligible for the additional 11 weeks of benefits. As additional weeks are programmed and made available to claim/certify, you will receive a notification from OJFS. Final programming for PUA and all 11-weeks is expected to be completed by 2/19/2021.

All PEUC programming is now complete. Eligible individuals will receive all benefits they are owed, retroactive to as early as December 27, 2020. Existing claimants should see the extended 11 weeks on their claim balances and can file claims for those weeks (if not already done) to receive payments. New claimants can also apply for up to 24 weeks of benefits, but must use them by April 10th, 2021.

$300 FPUC Implementation Update: ODJFS is issuing FPUC payments as of 01/16/201 for those with active PUA, PEUC and Regular UI claims and who can certify. Those who had exhausted benefits won’t receive the $300 until they can file claims following system updates described above. All claimants will eventually receive all benefits they are eligible for.

Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation : Once implemented, will provide an additional $100 a week, on top of the $300 FPUC benefit.

PUA and PEUC retroactive back payments: While the 11 weeks extra weeks will be automatically added for most claimants, in some cases you will need to take manual actions to request back pay. Particularly if prior to December 27th, 2020. In this case you need to email/contact OJFS to manually process and pay retroactive benefits.

PUA Documentation Requirements: Under the new CAA legislation that extended benefits new documentation requirements were introduced. As a result claimants should gather documentation to support their employment or self-employment for the tax year prior to when they filed their original claim for benefits. Individuals who filed their original PUA claim in 2020 should gather documentation to support employment in 2019. New PUA applications filed in 2021 should include supportive documentation of employment in 2020. Appropriate documents can include paycheck stubs and tax documents.

I will post additional details as they are released in coming days. So stay tuned for updates.

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January 25th update: The additional $300 in federal weekly unemployment benefits approved by Congress could be in the hands of Ohio workers by the third week in January. “We’re working as quickly as possible on that,” Kimberly Hall, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

DOL Guidelines on these programs and final eligibility (including additional document verification procedures to combat Fraud) continue to be implemented by ODJFS. This has historically been an inconsistent process and as a result I am predicting 2 to 5 weeks for these extensions and retroactive payments to be paid out.

UI claimants with existing or expired claim balances should be aware of the following:

  • PUA and PEUC, FPUC will be automatically added to the claimants’ benefits if they are eligible for the weeks outlined in the new legislation.
  • Claimants with weeks remaining in UI should continue to file weekly claims
  • Claimants who will have additional weeks in UI and PUA or PEUC due to state provisions (where applicable) should watch their state agency UI portal or website for updates that will allow additional weeks to be filed.
  • Claimants will be retroactively caught up on payments for all weeks they are eligible.
  • Claimants currently receiving benefits through the Extended Benefits program must finish all weeks of EB before receiving additional weeks of PEUC.

Over summer Ohio’s unemployment system was overloaded with 90,000 claims unprocessed leaving some people waiting over 8-weeks for their first check. In the months since, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) which is responsible for managing unemployment claims is working to catch up, hiring new staff. Now, based on the latest data, Ohio has successfully processed 95% of its claims, and averages a 21-day turn around. Claims taking longer are considered complex and ODJFS is still working to get those processed.

Note – For those still waiting for unemployment back payments In Ohio, all unemployment claims are retroactive from the date you became eligible, delays may happen but will not affect the total amount of your benefit, just the date you will receive your first payment(s).   

If you are still having issues with your claim status Ohio has extended its call center hours, hold times have decreased, but are still long. The main call center number is 1-877-644-6562 (M-F 7am to 7pm; Sat: 9am to 5pm; Sun: 9am to 1pm)


Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program Update

The OHJFS has now paid out the $300 weekly payment under the LWA program, which provides supplemental payments to eligible unemployment benefits claimants who have been unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. OHJFS had processed the majority of LWA payments, including retroactive funds, to eligible claimants by the end of September (see latest LWA state tracker dates). Eligible claimants will have their LWA weekly benefit payment retroactive to the dates they are eligible, for a maximum of 6 weeks.

LWA payment schedule

The ODJFS recently published an updated schedule for the $300 payment which will be done in batches based on the type of unemployment people were getting.

Update for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claimants:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants began receiving retroactive LWA payments the week of September 14, 2020. For PUA claimants, LWA is being distributed in individual $300 payments (less taxes) over a period of six days through September 21, for all weeks they qualify, up to $1,800.

LWA was able to be provided to PUA claimants more quickly because PUA is administered by a newer cloud-based system, which is much less difficult to program than the legacy system used to deliver traditional unemployment benefits.

Update for Traditional UI, Trade, Shared Work Ohio and Extended-Benefit Claimants:

The system programming necessary to issue LWA payments to remaining claimants has now been completed. Claimants under these unemployment programs will need to verify that they are eligible for LWA. This group of claimants started receiving their payments from September 20th.

Eligible claimants will receive one retroactive LWA payment for all weeks that they qualify, up to $1,800. Note that if you chose for your taxes to be withheld from your weekly unemployment payments, taxes also will be withheld from your LWA payments.

The new Lost Wages program however does cut the federal benefit ($600 FPUC) in half for Ohioans since the state cannot afford to boost the benefit by the additional $100 state contribution requested by Trump.

CARES (COVID-19) Enhanced Benefits in Ohio

Under the CARES act, the following federally funded enhanced unemployment assistance was made available.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): expands eligibility for individuals who are typically ineligible for Unemployment benefits, for example, independent contractors, self-employed, and “gig” workers.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): provides an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment benefits to all recipients. On July 6th, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, announced that an additional 20 weeks of benefits will be available to those individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment and the 13 weeks of the PEUC

At this time, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provided individuals with an additional $600 per week, has ended (however is being reviewed for an extension to year end). However, if your claim eligibility dates between March 29th and July 25th you will receive this benefit.

In many states, the increase in COVID-19 related unemployment has triggered the Extended Benefits (EB) program providing an additional 20 weeks for those who have exhausted all other state and federal benefits. The activation of Extended Benefits (EB) is due to the high unemployment rates in Ohio. As of July 23rd, the ODJFS had received over 1.5 million claims

The unemployment rate, which topped out at 17.6% in April, went down to 13.9% in May and is predicted to drop to 10.9% in June.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payment benefit of an additional $600 per week expired on July 25, 2020. The FPUC benefit was applied to all unemployment programs. If you are claiming unemployment benefits for the last week (July 19 – 20, 2020), your next payment will be the final payment that will include the $600 FPUC.

We know that many Ohioans have come to rely on these payments during this difficult time. If action is taken on the federal level to either continue this program or institute a replacement, we will inform you and begin adjusting our systems to process any new payment requirements.

@OhioJFS (July 27, 2020)

#InThisTogetherOhio

Filing a Claim and FAQs

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI)

Individuals need to have worked 20 weeks and averaged $269 or more per week during that period. They must be unemployed through no fault of their own. Unemployment claims are retroactive from the date you became eligible, delays may happen but will not affect the total amount of your benefit you receive. You can apply here.

Here are the things you will need:

  • A valid email address and telephone number, your SSA, DOB, and Driver’s License or State ID number, and your 2019 tax return, if filed.  
  • Dates for employment for 2019 -2020, name, address and telephone number of employer(s)
  • Dependent information – spouse or children including their SSA and DOB
  • The reason you became unemployed – remember this has to meet the guideline described above.
  • Routing and Account number of your bank for direct deposit

Regular UI lasts up to 26 weeks.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

If your unemployment ends, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) can extend your UI payments for another 13 weeks. This program is limited, running from April to December 2020. It is available only if you have come to the end of your regular unemployment claim or if you have an expired claim and are still out of work – this program will provide an extension. If your unemployment claim is current, you do not need to apply. If your claim has lapsed, you may be able to file. 

If your PEUC ended, the Federal-State Extended Benefits (EB) program kicks in to assist you with up to 20 more weeks of benefits. There is no need to apply if your unemployment claim is current.

If you are not eligible for regular unemployment and are out of work due to COVID-19, you should be eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. 

PUA assists unemployed individuals who are not eligible for regular UI benefits. Their unemployment status must be a direct result of COVID-19. PUA benefits are retroactive, even if you became unemployed as far back as February 2, 2020. Processing is behind; however you will receive the full amount of your benefit.

Examples include:

  • This program assists self-employed individuals, independent contractors, freelance and gig workers, and others who can no longer work, through no fault of their own, due to COVID-19.
  • The individual or a member of their household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or they are responsible for the care of a family member diagnosed with COVID-19, or they are in quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19
  • The individual has become the primary breadwinner due to the death from COVID-19 or is the primary caregiver for a child who is unable to attend school.
  • The individual cannot get to work because of quarantine, laid off, quit a job, or had a business close due to COVID.

Unlike Ohio’s traditional unemployment program, there is no minimum work requirement for PUA.

You can apply for PUA here: pua.unemployment.ohio.gov

Here are the things you will need:

  • A valid email address and telephone number, your SSA, DOB, and Driver’s License or State ID number, and your 2019 tax return, if filed.  
  • Dates for employment for 2019 -2020, name, address and telephone number of employer(s)
  • Dependent information – spouse or children including their SSA and DOB
  • The reason you became unemployed – remember this has to meet the guideline described above.
  • Routing and Account number of your bank for direct deposit

Ohio PUA FAQs: 

Do I need to apply for traditional unemployment, get denied, and then apply for PUA?

No – if you meet the eligibility requirements for PUA, you can apply. 

If your regular unemployment is under appeal and you meet the PUA requirements, you may apply.

Only if you have a suspension, disqualification, or are serving out penalty weeks for tradition unemployment must you wait for that process to conclude before applying for PUA. 

How much money will I receive through the PUA program?

To calculate your weekly benefits, please check Ohio’s Worker’s Guide to Unemployment Insurance. Benefits are retroactive to your date of eligibility as long as that is on or after February 2nd, 2020.

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200 thoughts on “Ohio (OH) Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) – End of Extra $300 Weekly Benefit, 2021 PUA and PEUC extensions – News and Updates on Missing and Retroactive Payments”

  1. I been waiting for my identity update since last month on the 24 i been on unemployment almost 2 years they should know who i am as many times i called them and I’m still waiting for my regular unemployment what crazy is they got me doing the two job search over the internet question wise when i file they never did that to me since last week but I’m still waiting for my regular unemployment to kick in

    Reply
    • Ya it’s just a formality. They have to add it now since the pandemic is essentially over. Listen, upload the same documents over and over and over again. Your tax return, your id, your electric bills, upload whatever identification and proof you can every single day, because it lands on someone new desk every time: the more people who see it, the better odds you have of getting paid.

      Reply
  2. I don’t understand how they ask for identity verification on May 24, 2021 and still cannot verify it’s me after more than two months. I’ve written and spoken to odjfs, my district rep, state rep, and Governor. All I get is the same answer. They are behind, and will be getting to my case in time. Can I tell my landlord and electric company that I’ll be getting to their bills when I get around to it? This is 100% unfair. I have been faithfully looking for work, with no luck. I feel this is a ploy to kick everyone off of unemployment. They obviously don’t care what happens to us in Ohio. It isn’t our fault that hackers broke into the system and stole millions. Now we have to suffer for it.

    Reply
    • I had the same issue! Took over 2 months to fix it. They finally fixed it and verified my identity, then they paid me in full, and then literally 3 days later my account got locked again for another identity verification! Why on earth would I need to do all this again after only 2 days of getting it cleared! Called and called and everyone just keeps saying I have to just wait again for them to review the same exact documents again! It’s been going on another month already!!! This is just insane! They are playing games with my money, which is my only means of survival for my family and I!!!

      Reply
      • Hey buddy most of these dick wads don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. I called 4 days in a row (between 8-9am) asked the same thing to each person and got 4 different answers. The 4th person finally was able to get me paid. I also uploaded the very same documents every single day over and over and over again because they went to different agents every time

        Reply
    • After receiving PUA for nearly 5 months, I was suddenly cut off for identity verification. That was October of 2020. Here it is September 2021and I finally got verification on the 18th. I just wonder How much longer before I get payment so I can start playing catch up with bills and paying back family and friends. Thank GOD for them or I would really be in a world of hurt.

      Reply
      • Honestly you gotta call every single day and ask. Nobody is on the same page, you’ll find your going to get a different answer every time. Just keep calling till someone sends you to payment.

        Reply
  3. Same here 14 weeks pending turned in all documents verified by 3 different people and can’t get no one in adjudication to look at it yet all they’re saying is I have to wait it’s going to be any day

    Reply
  4. I have been waiting for 10 months finally got my decision and my funds but only got paid for every other week.. No one can explain to me why though.

    Reply
  5. 2 months still waiting. they had to file 2 internal forms because someone marked my ID as ineligible even though letter says I am verified. the workers are baffled that someone made such a dumb mistake. it is always “just waiting for an adjud. to look at it all now because I have more than enough approved documents. currently getting all the help for utilities/food but that doesn’t pay my property tax bill or household essentials

    Reply
  6. I to have been waiting for ajudication 14 weeks thanks for the advice to call call and call some more. I will try but it’s hard to have a battle of brains with unarmed people

    Reply
  7. My case has been in adjudication for 12 weeks i turned in all the documentation they have asked for but I am still waiting. I have spoke to a customer service representative 8 times in 9 days. Every one of them reviewed my documents. I can get 8 different people to look at my documents but I cannot get the one single person, an ADJUDICATER, I NEED to look at them. My water has been shut off. Dp&L is next. I need help. Who can I speak to??

    Reply
  8. I was receiving my pua unemployment benefits on a weekly claims consistently until late February 2021 when my benefits being put on hold for fraud and employment verfication issues in which I submitted all those documents asking me to submit. It’s now being over 90 days now in which still saying pending fraud employment verfication to be determined pending.So question being how much longer it’s going to take for my determination and my pua unemployment benefits being still on hold release

    Reply
  9. Does anyone know when they will be paying the mixed earners benefits in ohio I literally called to see what is going on and the worker didn’t know there was such. Program like I mean it doesn’t and shouldn’t take months to update the system man come on ohio

    Reply
  10. I have been in adjudication and pending issues have been taken care of since December 2020 and I received a determination of monetary letter but my account remains pending and active with no payments. What do I do? I’ve called and they say they have sent internal forms to bump my claim up and move it through quicker but still nothing. What do I do?

    Reply
    • Isn’t this terrible? How hard is it to do your job? Call Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday between 7-9. Call every single day. One of those days you’ll come across someone who actually knows what they’re doing. And keep calling. Literally nonstop until you get paid.

      Reply
  11. Go to regular unemployment, apply. They will tell you your not able to receive regular compensation and ask you to reapply. Then go to puec, apply, if PUA doesn’t let you start a new claim. Call every single day between the hours of 7-9 and speak to someone new everyday. One person will help you. Stay on top of it.

    Reply
  12. Help!?!? I applied for Pua July 3rd I’ve been out of work in April 10, 2020 and have been calling the PUA hotline weekly 4 the last 3 months and have got nowhere I have submitted any and all paperwork that they requested and every time I call they say I’m approved & just waiting on my payment, still nothing how do I apply or reapply on the new system because when I login with my social it brings up my account that’s been open since July 3,3020?? Please help I’m in Columbus Ohio and I’m about to lose everything thank you
    ANY &ALL ADVICE IS WELCOME
    THANK YOU,
    AT

    Reply
    • Please call between the hours of 7-9, this is your best to chance to get to someone. Ask every question you can, then call back and speak to someone else to verify the information. You should be paid by now, this is not something that is normal. If the second personal didn’t clarify information for you insist you hold for a supervisor. Insist upon it, even if it’s hours. Fight for yourself! And stop stop fighting! Daily.

      Reply

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