DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio’s Department of Jobs and Family Services has seen over 77,800 applications for unemployment compensation in the last three days.
According to an email sent by the ODJFS, an average week would bring around 5,500 applications. But with Governor Mike DeWine’s recent changes to unemployment eligibility due to the coronavirus outbreak, the numbers have skyrocketed.
To handle the onslaught of calls it is taking an all-hands-on-deck approach and has shifted a number of employees from other areas to help answer questions and process applications on the phone.
ODJFS has also extended its call center’s hours of operation to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Due to the unprecedented nature of the situation wait times have been long.
To ease the burden on the phones, callers should follow the instructions provided through the automated prompts if they need to reset their account PIN. If they are unable to, then they will need to speak with a representative.
Filing a claim online remains the best way for Ohioans to access unemployment benefits at https://unemployment.ohio.gov/. Unemployment-related coronavirus questions are available at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm. For those without computers, call 1-877-644-6562.
What are the requirements to file for unemployment benefits?
- You must be totally or partially unemployed.
- In 2020, you must have worked at least 20 weeks in covered employment and earned at least $269 in the base period (four out of the last five completed calendar quarters).
- You must be unemployed through no fault of your own.
- If you had a prior unemployment claim that is expired, you must have worked in covered employment since the beginning of the prior claim year to reestablish yourself as a worker.
LATEST STORIES ON CORONAVIRUS
- Rent comes due as issues persist with state unemployment system, despite reinforcements
- When will coronavirus cases peak in Ohio? Models say it could be weeks
- Miami Valley Warmline offers mental health support during pandemic
- Local efforts to flatten the coronavirus curve
- Dayton Children’s offers advice for families in quarantine through video series