Ohio Unemployment

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File for Unemployment Benefits  

You can file for Unemployment Insurance in Ohio by phone and online.

To submit your application by phone, call: 1-877-OHIO-JOB (1-877-644-6562). Submitting your initial application for Unemployment Insurance online is the easiest route, however, and you can get started with this option by visiting http://www.unemployment.ohio.gov.

After you apply, how you choose to receive correspondence from the ODJFS determines how often you file for your Unemployment Insurance benefits, whether weekly or bi-weekly. It can take up to three weeks for your application to be approved, so in that time you should continue to file for unemployment benefits every week. After three weeks, you will need to claim every week via internet, unless you select to receive correspondence by US mail. If you opt to receive correspondence via mail, then you will file bi-weekly. Notices are sent accordingly to every applicant. It is your responsibility to keep up with your application and filing times and dates.

Visit http://www.unemployment.ohio.gov to file your initial claim online. It is the fastest, most convenient way to get things started with the Ohio Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations.

Unemployment Application and Initial Claim

File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim

Upon entering the system, you will be asked a series of questions and to enter important information that the Department of Economic Security will use to determine your eligibility. The entire process to file an initial claim should take about 20 to 25 minutes.  

When going through either the online or phone process, it is not complete until you receive a confirmation number. Without it, your claim cannot be valid. It is important for you to complete the entire filing process in order to file for Unemployment Insurance in Ohio.

Documents and Information Needed During Filing

It is important that you make sure to collect all of your information and documents before submitting a claim for benefits. Any missing or incorrect information could cause delays or even denial. You will need the following items when filing for Unemployment Insurance with ODJFS:

  •         Social Security Number
  •         Driver’s License or State ID
  •         Your address, telephone number, and email address
  •         Contact information and dates worked for all employers for the past six weeks
  •         Ex-military papers DD-214 if separated from the military within the last 18 months
  •         Ex-Federal employees must submit forms SF-8 and/or SF-50 if you worked during the last 18 months
  •         Alien registration papers and expiration dates for non-US citizens
  •         Names and Social Security Number for your spouse as well as any dependents you will be claiming
  •         An explanation as to why you are currently unemployed or partially unemployed
  •         What your regular job occupation is and a list of your job or related skills

When you apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits for the first time you will be given a temporary PIN. You must have a Personal Identification Number in order to collect benefits, regardless of whether you file online or by phone. After your initial interaction with ODJFS, you can change your temporary PIN to one of your own.

Claim Weekly Benefits  

After you submit your initial claim with ODJFS, you are required to submit weekly or biweekly (depending on how you choose to receive correspondence from ODJFS) claims in order to receive benefit payments. This will show that you continue to be eligible and meet the requirements for continued benefit collection.

How to Claim Weekly Benefits  

Once your application for Unemployment Insurance benefits is submitted, you must file weekly claims in order to determine your continued eligibility for the first three weeks—even while you are awaiting approval or denial. You will then be informed whether you will be filing on either a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.

You must file for a week of unemployment benefits within 21 days after the Sunday of the first week you are claiming. Anything claimed after that time will not be approved.

Claim Denials or Discrepancies  

A Determination of Unemployment Compensation will be sent to you explaining either approval or denial. It will outline your dependent claims, your weekly benefit amount, and any employers who are being charged for your claim of unemployment. It is important that you read your determination letter thoroughly and carefully, making sure that everything is accurate.

If you disagree, or there are discrepancies, you must file an appeal within the date listed on the letter, which is about 21 days from the mailing date. You can contact customer service to answer any questions you might have from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

It is possible that you could receive a Notice of Eligibility Issue letter. This happens if ODJFS finds any discrepancies or has questions about your continued eligibility to collect unemployment compensation. The letter will outline all specific issues that could cause you to be denied benefits, the beginning date of the issue(s), what caused the issue to be raised, and what actions you must take.

If you receive a Notice of Eligibility Issue, you have five business days from the date listed on the notice to respond.

Appeals Process for Denied Claims

If you disagree with your claim decision, you have 21 days from the date listed on the decision letter to file an appeal with ODJFS. There are four ways you can file, including:

  • Online at  www.unemployment.ohio.gov (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily)
  • Via mail or fax (at the ODJFS listed on your determination notice)
  • In person at any ODJFS claims processing center

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ODJFS will send you a receipt of confirmation once your appeal is received by the office. Everyone interested in your appeal will also be notified, including employers. Everyone involved will have the opportunity to show evidence pertaining to the appeal. ODJFS has 21 days from the date you file your appeal to reach and issue a decision.

If you’re unhappy with the redetermination, you can file an appeal with the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission within 21 days of the date listed on the redetermination letter. The Commission may either approve or disapprove your request for a review of your redetermination. If your review is denied, you may further file with the Common Pleas Court.

Mostly all appeals hearings are conducted via telephone. All parties needing to attend the hearing will be notified accordingly. If you prefer an in-person appeal hearing, you must notify the Commission within 10 days of the date you receive notice.

Office of Appeals Contact Information

  •         General Questions: 1-877-574-0015 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday)
  •         Online:  www.unemployment.ohio.gov (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily)
  •         Fax: 614-466-8392
  •         Mail: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director

Bureau of Unemployment Compensation Benefits

P.O. Box 182863

Columbus, OH 43218-2863  

  •         Review Commission: Unemployment Compensation Review Commission

P.O. Box 182299

Columbus, OH 43218-2299

·         In Person (initial appeal): http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouc/Processing_Offices_by_SSN.pdf (list of numbers and locations)