What Are Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment Insurance is a state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers who are currently unemployed through no fault of their own. Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, but all states have to follow the guidelines established by federal law.

It is a short-term weekly pay from the state government if you fulfil the set criteria.

How To Claim Ohio Unemployment Benefits?

Read on to know how you can prepare yourself to apply and claim benefits. Before filing, it is important to know if you qualify for unemployment benefits. This means you have to satisfy all the requirements set by the State of Ohio towards unemployment compensation.

If you are eligible, there is a list of necessary documents which have to be ready before you move on to applying. Applying for benefits has to be done as soon as you are laid-off because there is a week long waiting period (to process and verify all the documents) for which you will not be receiving any benefits or pay.

Filing for benefits in 3 easy steps:

1. Check if you are eligible to claim unemployment benefits.

2. Collect all the necessary documents.

3. Fill the application to claim unemployment benefits.

Eligibility Requirements:

Check if you satisfy the following requirements to obtain unemployment benefits.

  • Be a resident of Ohio. If you are not a resident of Ohio but worked in Ohio at your last job, you still have Ohio unemployment eligibility.
  • You must be able to work.
  • If you are unable to work because of disability or medical condition, you may be eligible to collect disability benefits. The case worker at the unemployment office will be able to direct you on how to apply for disability.
  • You should be unemployed while applying for unemployment benefits.
  • You must be actively looking for a new job.
  • You worked for a sufficient period of time and earned enough income in covered employment during your base period.

Under Ohio law, most employers are required to pay contributions for unemployment insurance. Work for such an employer is covered employment.

The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately before the first day of an applicant’s benefit year. If an applicant does not have 20 weeks of covered employment in the base period, the alternate base period may be used.

The alternate base period includes the most recently completed calendar quarter instead of the one five quarters ago. The base period never includes more than four quarters.

Example: If your claim begins between these dates: January 1, 2013 through March 31, 2013 Your base period will be: October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.

  • You were not fired with a just cause.
  • You did not quit your job unless you had a just reason.
  • If you have filed a claim previously, you need to have worked for at least 6 weeks and met a total income requirement before you can file a new claim.
  • Special rules apply to unemployment eligibility for military personnel and union workers, so check with your military or union representative for these rules.

Every case of lay off is different. If you receive a pink-slip and do not know if you qualify for unemployment compensation, apply for benefits and the case worker will help you determine your eligibility.

Necessary Documents

  • Social security number.
  • Driver license number or state issued ID number.
  • Name, home and mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address.
  • Name, address, phone number, and the dates you worked at each employer in your last 6 weeks of work.
  • Explanation for why you lost your job with each employer.
  • Names, social security numbers and dates of birth of your dependents.
  • You will need your spouse’s name, social security number and birth date if you claim dependents.
  • You will need your alien registration number and expiration date if you aren’t a U.S. citizen.
  • Information about the type of work that you do and your job skills, training and/or education.

You might also need:

If you worked outside Ohio, were an employee of the federal government, or have prior military service, you will need:

  • Form DD-214-member 4 copy (for military)
  • SF-8 or SF-50 form (for federal government workers)

Claiming Benefits

You can claim unemployment benefits once you receive a confirmation of eligibility. This can be done by:

  1. Meet all the Ohio unemployment requirements.
  2. Register with the Employment Security Commission.
  3. File a claim for each week you collect unemployment.
  4. Be actively looking for a new job each week that you collect unemployment benefits. Apply for at least two jobs each week.

Ohio residents can choose to file for unemployment:

  1. Online: http://unemployment.ohio.gov
  1. Phone: Toll-free 1-877-644-6562 or TTY 1-888-642-8203, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

After claiming, claimant handbook together with the other materials will be sent to you by mail or email. Be sure to read everything sent to you carefully. You will receive your pay check a week after the waiting period. The pay will be for the previous week.

You will receive a pay check for every week you file a claim.

In order to keep receiving an unemployment check every week you must file a weekly claim, also known as a weekly certification or continued claim. This is different from filing for unemployment.

Other Services Under The Ohio Unemployment Scheme

Apart from monetary help, Ohio unemployment scheme has a host of other benefits which will help you land a job quicker. Here is a list of other services –

1. Weekly benefit check.
2. Career counseling.
3. Job placement services.
4. Job and skill re-training services.
5. Information about other resources and services.
6. Help making a resume and training on how to interview well.

Making the best use of what Ohio unemployment has to offer will help you get back to work at the earliest.

Ohio Unemployment Office Contact Information

Ohio Unemployment Website


Ohio Unemployment Mailing Address

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
30 E. Broad Street, 32nd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Ohio Unemployment Phone Numbers