After much delay, Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services has officially begun implementing the CARES Act’s unemployment provisions. As of Friday, Ohioans are now free to register for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and will also begin receiving Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) in addition to their regular unemployment payments.
PUA extends traditional unemployment benefits to workers who wouldn’t normally have access to them, including independent contractors, freelancers, self-employed individuals, and those individuals who would otherwise lack a sufficient work history to qualify for benefits. To be eligible, the joblessness must have been caused by one of eleven preapproved coronavirus-related reasons. Ohioans who apply for PUA now will be retroactively repaid for the duration of their unemployment, going as far back as February 2nd.
Federal PUC payments have begun in Ohio as well. Individuals receiving any form of unemployment compensation will now get an additional $600 on top each week’s regular payment (even if this exceeds their normal working wages). Like with PUA, PUC will be given retroactively for periods of unemployment that are already underway, but only dating back to March 29th. These additional $600 payments end July 25th.
If any current or former employees contact you with questions about unemployment compensation, you can refer them to unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov or coronavirus.ohio.gov, both of which contain helpful FAQ pages. They can also call 833.604.0774 with any specific questions about eligibility. For more information about these provisions, you should feel free to reach out to any K|W|W team member. Your workforce is our priority.
The K|W|W Team