Beginning today, Ohioans who are unemployed as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic but who DO NOT qualify for regular unemployment benefits can begin pre-registering for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a new federal program that covers many more categories of workers.
The pre-registration tool will allow individuals to get in line early and pre-register their account, so that as soon as the agency has the technical ability to process their claims in May, they can log in and complete their paperwork.
This program will provide benefits to the following categories of workers:
- Those who were self-employed, worked part-time, or do not otherwise qualify for regular unemployment benefits and fit one of the categories below
- Those unable to reach their place of employment because of quarantine
- Those unable to reach their place of employment because they have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
- Those whose place of employment is closed because of COVID-19
- Those who were scheduled to start work but who no longer have a job because of COVID-19
- Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19
- Those with a household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
- Those providing care to a family or household member with COVID-19
- Those with primary caregiving responsibilities for children or others who are unable to attend school or another facility due to COVID-19
To pre-register for PUA benefits, Ohioans should visit unemployment.ohio.gov and click on “Get Started Now.” The benefit amount will be similar to traditional unemployment benefits, plus an additional $600 per week through July 25. The pre-registration tool will allow individuals to get in line early and pre-register their account, so that as soon as the agency has the technical ability to process their claims in May, they can log in and complete their paperwork.
For those eligible, PUA benefits will be retroactive to the date they qualified, as early as February 2. The program will provide up to 39 weeks of benefits to many who historically have not qualified for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers, part-time workers, and those who lack sufficient work history. Individuals who have exhausted all regular unemployment and any weekly extensions also may be eligible for the program. Anyone with questions should call (833) 604-0774.