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General Benefits Eligibility Criteria
As a working employee, you are covered by Unemployment Insurance under the ODJFS Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations. This means that your employer contributes quarterly to the Ohio Unemployment Trust, which entitles you to collect Unemployment benefits when you meet specific eligibility requirements.
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The weekly benefits you qualify for may vary, and are conditional upon wages covered during your determined Base Period and how many dependents (children, spouse) you claim when you file for Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Weekly benefits fall into three Dependency Classifications:
Dependent Qualifications: Both of the following criteria must be met in order to claim a child on your Unemployment Application as a dependent:
- Any child you claim must be under the age of 18 at the start of your benefit year. If the child is 18 or over, the child must be unable to work because of a lasting physical limitation or disability in order to still qualify.
- Over the last 90 days of the beginning of your benefit year, you must have paid for at least half of the child’s support and care. You cannot claim any child that has been previously claimed by a spouse or co-parent on an established Unemployment Insurance claim in the past year.
A spouse may be claimed as a dependent if:
- You are legally married (You must be married at least 90 days during the time you earned your Base Period wages, or the term of the marriage was within the Base Period wages earned)
- Your spouse lives with you
- Your spouse has income that was at least 25 percent of your qualifying Base Period wages
- You provided more than 50 percent of your spouse’s support
Work Eligibility Criteria
- Unemployed Through No Fault of Your Own (fully or partially): Surrounding circumstances that caused you to become separated from employment must not be the direct result of misconduct, purposeful violation(s) of workplace rules or regulations, or for personal reasons. Keep in mind that poor performance is not cause to exclude you from eligibility to collect Unemployment Insurance Benefits in the State of Ohio.
- Able to Work: You must be capable of performing suitable work in a similar job position to previous employments, or have enough experience to train for a viable position with reasonable expectations continuing employment.
- Available to Work: You must be ready for immediate reemployment opportunities. You are responsible to make provisions and arrangements for suitable accommodations in order to work; no personal circumstances should hold you from starting a new job right away, including child care.
- Actively Seeking Work: You must show a practical effort toward achieving suitable employment. Your actions in seeking work should be proactive and purposeful to gaining employment as soon as possible.
Wages Eligibility Criteria
In order to collect Unemployment Benefits in Ohio, your 2016 application must show at least an average weekly gross wage of $243 during your established Base Period. The minimum earnings amount changes each year, and only applies to the year in which you are applying, not your Base Period qualifying wages.
You must have at least 20 qualifying weeks in your Base Period.
Unemployment Availability Limits
You must qualify to collect Unemployment Insurance with at least 20 weeks, up to 52 weeks, in your Base Period. You can collect benefits for the life of your Benefit Year, which is 365 days from the date you submit your initial claim. The maximum amount of weekly benefits in Ohio is $587. The maximum amount you can collect throughout your Benefit Year is determined by multiplying your weekly benefit amount by the number of qualifying weeks up to 26.If you have 52 qualifying weeks, and your weekly benefit amount is $250, the amount of your Benefit Year claim is $6,500 ($250 X 26).
The ODJFS Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations does not support extensions on the limits you can collect benefits. After your Benefit Year expires, you must re-qualify to collect benefits with the Base Period earning and at least the minimum qualifying 20 weeks. This means that you must have worked at least part-time during the period you collected benefits in order to meet the specifics necessary to reapply for a new Benefit Year.