Before you complete an application for unemployment benefits in Ohio, you can determine exactly how much you can expect to receive for unemployment benefits using Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS) online unemployment benefits calculator. The online benefits estimator allows perspective unemployment applicants to determine an estimate for unemployment benefits derived from the amount of hours worked and subsequent wages during a base period. The base period is the first 12 month, or four calendar quarters, within the past 15 months or five calendar quarters. Unemployment applicants must have worked a minimum of 20 weeks during the base period to become eligible for unemployment benefits. Understand that using the unemployment benefits estimator is not an application for benefits or a guarantee of payment; you must still complete an unemployment application to receive unemployment benefits in Ohio.
Visit Ohio's unemployment benefits estimator page on the DJFS website (see Resources).
Select a three-month period from the "When do you plan to apply for benefits?" drop-down menu that contains the exact date you intend to complete your unemployment application. The drop-down menu contains the four most recent calendar quarters for the fiscal year.
Click "Yes" or "No" for the "Did you work at least 20 weeks within this period?" option. The period shown will be your base period as calculated by the benefits estimator. For example, if you plan to file for benefits from January 2, 2010, to April 2, 2010, your base period will be October 1, 2008, to September 30, 2009. Use your pay stubs, income statements and time sheets to determine if you indeed worked for at least 20 full work weeks during the shown base period dates, and tally the exact amount of weeks.
Enter the exact amount of weeks you worked during your base period in the "How many weeks did you work during the period provided immediately above?" section.
Enter the number of dependents you have for the "How many dependents do you have?" question. Ohio unemployment recipients are allowed to claim at most three dependents on their application. For each dependent you claim up to the allowable limit, your maximum weekly benefit amount increases, provided you meet minimum average weekly wages. However, under no circumstances will your weekly benefit amount exceed the state's established unemployment weekly benefit maximum based on the number of dependents claimed.
Use your W-2's or each pay stub from your base period to determine your pretax income. Add the amount of your total wages before taxes from each pay period, and enter that amount into the "What was your total income before taxes?" section.
Press the "Calculate my estimated weekly benefit amount" button to receive an estimate for your unemployment benefits.
If you did not work at least 20 weeks in your shown base period, you may still calculate an estimate for unemployment benefits provided you worked at least 20 weeks in an alternate base period. Otherwise, you may be ineligible for unemployment compensation.