COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohioans could be eligible for an additional $300 in weekly unemployment benefits soon, replacing the $600 in additional federal benefits that ran out in July under the CARES Act.
The benefits come from an executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Saturday, stating the administration would reprogram money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help state unemployment agencies. For states to be eligible, they had to give $100 on top of the $300 being offered by the federal government.
According to Gov. Mike Dewine’s Spokesperson Dan Tierney, the administration allowed a second option late Sunday night that allowed states to immediately to take the $300 of weekly benefits without contributing the other $100.
“We received additional guidance there were a couple of options,” Tierney told WDTN.com. “One was $300 a week unemployment with a $100 split from the state, the second option was $300 additional benefit completely funded through federal funds. Ohio is going to opt into the second option.”
Tierney said benefits would not be made available immediately. He said there will be technical guidance needed from the federal government on how to proceed. Any changes in unemployment benefit eligibility that will need to be taken into consideration as well as other work the state will need to take in order to begin disbursing money.
“First, we have to get guidance from the Department of Labor, that could come later this month,” Tierney said. “Second, we have to update computer systems. If any eligibility changes occur, that may determine how quickly we can change the computer systems. The more uniform the benefit the easier it is to implement it into the system. Those are things we intend to move forward with and a caveat we have to consider.”
DeWine said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that he wasn’t sure if the state could come up with the additional $100 needed to match the federal unemployment benefit. Tierney said the governor’s office was going to look into what it would take to provide the benefit along with the Ohio Legislature, but when the second option became available, the Governor decided it was the better choice considering it would get money to people quicker.
“Our review of the feasibility of the $100 was not concluded by the time we heard about the second option,” Tierney said. “It was quicker to implement. We continue to brief the legislature on this, we don’t want to leave any indication we aren’t working with (them), but it was just easier to implement and at no cost to the state beyond managing the computer changes.”
For more information on Ohio and unemployment insurance, visit the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services website.
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