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.

In Ohio, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is responsible for administering the Ohio unemployment laws and providing benefits to qualified applicants. The state limits benefits to those who are unable to work for lack of employment and those who were terminated for no fault of their own.


Are you unemployed? Not sure if you are eligible to claim unemployment benefits?

This article will help in determining your eligibility to claim unemployment benefits. Ohio unemployment compensation programs require you to retain an attachment to the labor market as a condition to receive benefits.

One way of gauging your connection to the labor force is to assess your recent employment history. If you have worked sparingly or have been out of work for a while, you are possibly ineligible to claim benefits.

If you have worked in multiple states, the general rule is to file for unemployment in the state where you currently live.

Non-Monetary Eligibility

This segment has simple and basic criteria which you need to fulfill to claim benefits. Apart from this, your earning will be taken into consideration to grant unemployment pay check. unemployment checklist

Check if you are meeting all the requirements mentioned below:

  • 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.
  • Must be physically able to work and available for work.
  • You should be partially or totally unemployed while applying for unemployment benefits.
  • You must be actively looking for a suitable new job.
  • You worked for a sufficient period of time and earned enough income under covered employment during your base period.
  • You were not fired with even-minded cause.
  • You did not quit your job unless you had an even-minded cause.
  • 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.

What is Covered Employment?

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

What is Base Period or Base Year?

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.


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.

Monetary Eligibility

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services administers its own unemployment benefits program. You must have worked and earned more than a specific amount in the base period.

Your weekly benefit is calculated as a percentage of your actual earnings during that period. The benefit amount is also based on the number of allowable dependents.

  • The claimant must have worked a minimum of 20 qualifying weeks in covered employment during the base period.
  • Must have an average weekly wage of at least $230.00 during the base period before taxes and deductions.Monetary Eligibility
  • Your previous job must have earned take-home pay adequate to cover your living expense.
  • The minimum benefits amount in Ohio is $115 and the maximum benefits amount in Ohio is $413 for a claimant who has zero dependents. If you have one or more dependents, the dependency classification chart will be able to help you.
  • Part-time employment payments are almost always not considered.
  • Special rules that apply to unemployment eligibility for military personnel and union workers, so check with your military or union representative for these rules.

You will receive a minimum of 20 weeks on the standard unemployment claim in Ohio. For each week worked more than the 20-week minimum to qualify, you will receive an additional week of benefits, up to maximum of 26 weeks. Your total benefit is the weekly benefit amount multiplied by the number of weeks allowed.

Dependency classification chart

The State of Ohio has a special law which grants different unemployment eligibility benefits to unemployed personnel based on the number of dependents.

The unemployment benefit amount is based on the number of dependents, helping workers with children, spouse. This chart will help you determine the dependency class you belong to.

No. of Allowable Dependents Dependency Classification Claimant’s average weekly wage Maximum weekly benefit
0 A $826 or more $413
1 or 2 B $1,002 or more $501
3 or more C $1,114 or more $557

Still confused and not sure if you are eligible to claim benefits?

Every case of lay off is different, so if you receive a pink-slip, apply for benefits and let the case worker help you determine your eligibility. Always remember that it takes about a week to process your application during which you will not receive any benefits. This is called the waiting week. So, it is wise to apply for the benefits at the earliest.

Unemployment benefits is a short-term weekly pay from the state government if you fulfill the set criteria. Hence, it would be foolish to depend on it for an extended period of time.