How Long Can You Collect Unemployment in Ohio?

Unemployment benefits in Ohio are provided by the Department of Job and Family Services Office of Unemployment Compensation. You can file either online at unemployment.ohio.gov or by telephone at 1-877-OHIOJOB (644-6562). The toll-free TTY number is 1-888-642-8203. You must call on the day associated with the first letter of your last name: Mondays for A-I, Tuesdays for J-L, Wednesdays for M-S and Thursdays for T-Z. Fridays are reserved for those who missed their filing day. The unemployment filing process takes about 25 minutes whether by phone or online.

How Long Can you Collect?

If you qualify, you can collect benefits for between 20 and 26 weeks. You're allowed 20 benefit weeks for the first 20 qualifying weeks in the base period, with an additional benefit week for each additional qualifying week up to a maximum of 26 weeks. If you return to work or earn money in excess of your weekly benefit, and then lose that job, you must reopen your claim.

What You Will Need To File

Filing your unemployment claim requires your Social Security number and either state ID number or driver's license number, plus your name, address, telephone number and email address. You also need your proof of citizenship or "alien registration number." You also will need the names, addresses and telephone numbers of your employer or employers for the past six weeks and the dates of your employment. You must also provide the reason you no longer work for each employer.

You will need the same information for the past 18 months if you worked outside of Ohio. If you've left the military, provide your Form DD-214. If you worked for the federal government during the past 18 months, provide your SF-50 or SF-8 form provided when you left. Also provide the names of your spouse and dependents and if you are claiming them on your benefits application, their Social Security numbers and birth dates.

Claiming A Dependent Child Or Spouse

Your spouse and dependents must meet several requirements to be claimed on your unemployment insurance.

Your child, adopted child or stepchild must be younger than 18 at the end of your benefit year (unless you're unable to work due to a permanent physical or mental disability) and have had at least half of their expenses paid by you for 90 days prior to your benefit year. Your dependent claim will be rejected if your spouse filed for unemployment during the past year and also claimed dependents.

Your spouse must be legally married to you for at least 90 days prior to the beginning of your benefit year. He or she also must be living with you, had income less than 25 percent of your average weekly wage and had more than 50 percent of his or her expenses paid by you.

Benefit Amounts

Your weekly benefit amount will equal about half your average weekly wage during your base year. The maximum weekly benefit for someone with no dependents is $375. Someone with one or two dependents may receive up to $456 weekly. Those with three or more dependents may receive up to $508 per week.

Maintaining Eligibility

Maintaining eligibility for unemployment benefits requires being (1) mentally and physically able to work in your occupation during the week you are claiming; (2) available and willing to work any shift or occupation consistent with work history; and (3) make a "good faith effort" to seek suitable work. A written record of your efforts may be requested. You must continue job hunting even if working part time. If you belong to a union, you must be a member in good standing and keep in contact.

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