Archive for the ‘Benefits’ Category

Ohio Unemployment Appeals Process

Unemployment Insurance is a comprehensive social insurance program in the U.S where jobless claimants who lost their job due to involuntary reasons such as lay off’s get a weekly compensation. Popularly known as the “Dole”, this weekly monetary compensation is determined on the basis of your employment during the “Base Period or “Alternate Base Period”. Partially unemployed citizens can also apply for unemployment insurance in the state of Ohio.


In Ohio, the Department of Job and Family Services is entrusted with the responsibility of administering unemployment compensation related services to its citizens. To primarily qualify for compensation in Ohio, the aspiring claimant should have sufficient employment in the 20 weeks preceding the application and should have earned at least $243 every week. Employment during this period can either be with a single or multiple employer(s).

There are situations where an application for weekly compensation will be rejected on multiple grounds. This article is aimed to get you well acquainted with the most common reasons for denial and how the claimant can file an appeal with the department for further scrutiny of the application.

Unemployment Compensation Denial

When you make the first claim to establish benefits cycle through available channels such as phone and the internet, the unemployment office at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services processes your claim. During the claims process, the application is vetted against the eligibility criteria followed by a decision to approve or deny the claim. The last phase of processing also includes determination of the benefit amount and benefit weeks.

The department will send a letter of determination to the claimant communicating the decision and the mechanics. If approved, the claimant should continue claiming the WBA (Weekly Benefit Amount) either by phone or over the internet. If denied, the claimant is provided an opportunity to “appeal” the decision. In Ohio, the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC) is the first level of appeal. The following sections will throw further light on the appeals process and also educate you on the second level of appeal offered in Ohio.

Common Reasons for Denial

Voluntary resignation from the job

The basis for offering unemployment compensation is to provide financial support for unemployed workers who lose a job due to involuntary reasons such as layoffs. If the claimant resigned from the job due to voluntary reasons, they will deny.

Asked to leave due to underperformance/misconduct

There are situations when the employer terminates the job of the employee due to reasons such as misconduct or substandard performance. Losing job under such circumstances can go against the claim at the time of processing.

Application does not meet the norms

There are many eligibility conditions the application has to pass through such as minimum income requirement and continuity in employment during the Base or Alternate Base Period. If these conditions are not met, it will be an outright reject. In the backdrop of strict norms, it’s paramount to understand the criteria and apply accordingly to save time and efforts.

Unemployment Appeals Process in Ohio

As touched upon earlier, there are two levels of appeal that can be filed in the state of Ohio. The first one is a two stage process as explained below.

Appeal on Initial Determination

  • A written appeal should be filed with ODJFS within 21 days of issual of the initial letter of determination.
  • The appeal should include information such as social security number, an identification number of the determination along with a detailed explanation of the reason for disagreement.
  • The dossier can also include supporting documents, statement from witnesses and any other paperwork supporting the stance.
  • The appeal can be filed online, by mail or fax. Claimants filing paperwork online should do so between 6 a.m to 6 p.m only.
  • Once the required paperwork is received, a written confirmation will be issued by the department. The appeal will be settled within 21 days from the time of receipt of the required paperwork.

Appeal on Redetermination

Ohio is one of the few states in the U.S which provides multiple levels for the claimant to seek remedy in terms of appeal. If the claimant is not satisfied with the decision made during the redetermination process, a written appeal may be filed with the UCRC (Unemployment Compensation Review Commission) within 21 calendar days from the time of issual of redetermination.

In a similar fashion, the appeal may be filed by fax, mail or internet (Contact details provided in the last section of this article).

Appeals to Common Pleas Court  

The last level of appeal administered by the state will be through the Common Pleas Court. If the unemployed citizen disagrees with the decision made by the UCRC, an appeal may be filed in writing within 30 days from the issual of the letter of determination by the commission. A list of courts is provided on

Points to remember

  • During the appeals process, the appealer should continue to file for weekly benefits as per the procedure laid down by the state during weeks of unemployment.
  • ODJFS is not responsible for arranging legal representatives such as an attorney to support the appeal on behalf of the appealer. If a legal representation is required, the local bar association may be consulted.
  • The department will not bear legal expenses such as attorney’s fee. Such expenses shall be borne by the claimant.
  • During the various stages of the appeals process, make sure to keep a track of hearing dates and attend them promptly in person or by means of representation. Failure to do so can result in unwanted delays and hassles for all the parties involved.
  • Presentation of documentary evidence and facts will help the panel to make decisions in your favor. Be sure to collect such paperwork and present them pro-actively.
Contact Details

General queries: 1-877-574-0015 ( Mon to Fri between 8 a.m to 5 p.m)


Address (Appeal for redetermination)
Unemployment Compensation Review Commission
P.O. Box 182299
Columbus, OH 43218-2299
Fax: 614-387-3694

Local Legal Aid Office (for legal representation): 1-866-529-6446