How To File For Ohio Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Ohio. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Ohio Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Ohio unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

Ohio unemployment benefits eligibility requirements

To qualify for unemployment benefits, the following four key factors must be met:

You are totally or partially unemployed at the time you file your application

If you performed no service for your employer, and no earnings or income are payable to you during the week you apply for benefits, you are totally unemployed. If your employer lets you go before the end of your usual work week, or reduces your work hours to less than your full-time work week AND you earn less than the unemployment weekly benefit amount, you may be partially unemployed and eligible for benefits.

You worked enough weeks and earned enough money in covered employment during the base period of your claim

You must have worked at least 20 weeks in covered employment during the base period. If you worked for more than one covered employer during the base period, you may still be eligible. Each of these 20 weeks is called a qualifying week.

If you file your application during 2018, you must have an average weekly wage (before taxes or other deductions) of at least $256 during the base period. This amount changes each year and applies to the year in which you file your application - not the year in which you worked.

The average weekly wage is determined by dividing your total wages for all qualifying weeks in the base period by the total number qualifying weeks. For example: If you had $32,000 in total wages and 32 qualifying weeks, then $32,000 divided by 32 = $1,000 average weekly wage.

You are unemployed through no fault of your own

For example, if you quit your recent job with good reason (as defined by the law) or if the employer fired you without good cause, that would be considered "no fault of your own." Be sure to give complete and accurate information about why you are no longer working.

If you had a prior benefit account, you reestablished yourself as a worker by performing enough work since the prior account began

Since the regular base period reaches back so far, it does not use the weeks and wages that occur immediately before you file your application. These weeks and wages could later be part of a second benefit year's alternative base period. Federal and state laws require that an individual work and earn wages after the beginning of the first benefit year in order to reestablish "worker" status for future benefit applications. Ohio requires that you work six weeks in covered employment and earn three times the average weekly wage of the prior benefit year in order to be eligible for a second account.

What is covered employment?

Most employers are required to pay unemployment insurance taxes to ODJFS throughout the year (even if none of their workers are claiming unemployment benefits). Some other employers, such as certain nonprofit or government agencies, must pay ODJFS back for the cost of unemployment benefits paid to their former workers. Work for such employers is called "covered employment" because it is covered by unemployment insurance. However, not all work is covered employment. For example, if you worked for a small family business or religious organization, the employment may not be covered.

Calendar Quarter
1st Quarter January 1 through March 31
2nd Quarter April 1 through June 30
3rd Quarter July 1 through September 30
4th Quarter October 1 through December 31
Base Period

Only the weeks worked and the wages paid during a set base period may be used to qualify for unemployment benefits. Ohio offers a "regular" base period and an "alternate" base period. A base period divides the year into four quarters of three months each. The regular base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters, before your benefit account begins.

If your claim begins between these dates Your regular base period will be
January 7, 2018 through March 31, 2018 October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017
April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018 January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017
July 1, 2018 through October 6, 2018 April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018
October 7, 2018 through January 5, 2019 July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018

If you worked less than the minimum number of weeks (20 weeks), or if your average weekly wage was less than the set minimum earnings (for 2018, $256) within the regular base period, then the alternate base period may be used.

The alternate base period is the last four completed calendar quarters before your benefit account begins. The alternate base period may be used only if you do not qualify for benefits using the regular base period.

If your claim begins between these dates Your alternate base period will be
January 7, 2018 through March 31, 2018 January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017
April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018 April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018
July 1, 2018 through October 6, 2018 July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018
October 7, 2018 through January 5, 2019 October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018

Filing for Ohio unemployment benefits

Ohio has two ways to file an application for Unemployment Insurance Benefits. File online at unemployment.ohio.gov 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Service may be limited during nightly system updating. Check the website for available services. Please be sure to follow the instructions. If you do not have access to a computer, visit your local library or OhioMeansJobs Center where computers are available for public use. To apply for unemployment over the phone call toll-free 877-644-6562 or TTY 614-387-8408, (excluding holidays) Monday through Friday 8am to 5:00pm. To apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits, you will need:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver's license or state ID number
  • Your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address
  • Name, address, telephone number, and dates of employment with each employer you worked for during the past 6 weeks
  • The reason you became unemployed from each employer
  • Dependents names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth
  • If claiming dependents, your spouse's name, Social Security number, and birth date
  • If you are not a US citizen or national, alien registration number and expiration date
  • Your regular occupation and job skills

If you had out-of-state employment, have worked for the federal government, or are separated from military service, more information is required, including:

  • Form DD-214, member 4 copy (for military service)
  • SF-8 or SF-50 form (for federal government employment)

When you call the 877-644-6562 number, you will be asked to choose one of the following number options:

  • Press #1 if you are responding to a statement of over payment
  • Press #2 for PIN resets
  • Press #3 for assistance with unemployment applications

After you filed your claim

You will receive further information by mail or e-mail. E-mail will be sent from [email protected]. Your claim will be assigned to a Processing Center, based on the last four digits of the your Social Security number. Click here for a list of Processing Centers by Social Security number. If filing online and you need your Personal Identification Number (PIN) reset, please call toll-free 866-962-4064.

Filing your unemployment weekly claim

The fastest and easiest way is to log into your account at unemployment.ohio.gov. You can file 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don't have access to a computer, visit your local library or OhioMeansJobs center, where computers are available for public use. To find the nearest OhioMeansJobs center, visit OhioMeansJobs.com and click on the icon for OhioMeansJobs centers or call 888-296-7541. Or you can file a weekly claim by phone Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8am to 5pm by calling 877-644-6562 or TTY 888-642-8203.

How many weeks of unemployment can I receive?

Most claimants can receive a maximum 20 to 26 weeks of benefits during a 12-month period.

How do I get paid UI benefits?

When you file your application, you can choose to be paid by debit card or by direct deposit to your checking or savings account. For direct deposit, you must provide your bank's name, complete address, routing number and your account number.

If you choose to be paid by debit card, you will receive a US Bank ReliaCard Visa, and your payments will be automatically deposited to it. You can use the money on the ReliaCard Visa for purchases everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. You also can withdraw cash from the ReliaCard at banks displaying the Visa logo or from the US Bank or Visa/PLUS ATM. ATM withdrawals at US Bank or MoneyPass ATMs are free. Other banks will charge a fee. Find the nearest location at locations.usbank.com/search or MoneyPass.com. ODJFS can transfer unemployment benefits only to US Bank ReliaCard reloadable debit cards. It cannot transfer benefits to any other type of credit or debit card.

ODJFS does not guarantee a certain day of the week when payments will be available to you. Furthermore, no federal or state law requires ODJFS to refund costs associated with writing bad checks. Therefore, the agency will not repay overdraft charges if you write a check with insufficient funds in your account. It is up to you to make sure there is enough money in your account before writing a check.

To report a card lost or stolen, or if you did not receive your card, call US Bank ReliaCard Customer Service at 855-254-9198.

Filing an appeal

If you disagree with any decision made regarding your claim, you should file an appeal and continue to file claims for any weeks you are unemployed. You must file the appeal within 21 days from the date the determination was issued. You can do so online at unemployment.ohio.gov, by fax or by mail to the ODJFS processing center identified on your determination notice. Appeal instructions are listed at the bottom of your determination. If you have questions, call 877-574-0015 between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday. This number is toll-free.