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Only Half Of 1.1 Million Jobless Claims Have Been Paid - Why?

A closed sign in a store near downtown Columbus
Karen Kasler
A closed sign in a store near downtown Columbus

The Ohio Department Job and Family Services has paid more than $2 billion in unemployment claims to nearly 560,000 Ohioans since mid-March. But that’s only half of the 1.1 million claims that have been filed.

ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall said some people have filed more than once, so when duplicate claims are weeded out, the base number of claims is 1.05 million.

“Approval at 655,000 was about 62%, denied about 27.1%, and so pending, we’re at 110,000 which is about 10 percent," Hall said.

Hall said about 6,500 claims were withdrawn. That leaves about 95,000 claims that weren’t paid because ODJFS says they qualify for some weeks but not others.

And Hall said the system to pay nearly 200,000 self-employed, independent contractors and 1099 workers should be ready to accept claims this week.

Those people have been pre-registering for that system, which the state has said it had to build because it wasn't in place before the pandemic began. Last week Hall reported 185,000 had pre-registered.

Hall also added during Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference that no one has been denied because child care centers aren't open. Hall said return to work guidelines that are in place are being evaluated to examine "the health and safety aspects" involving child care.

“No benefits are being denied right now as a result of a person’s decision not to return to work while we continue to evaluate the policy," Hall said during the briefing.

There has been widespread concern that the state's webpage by which employers can report employees who don't return to work might lead to workers being denied because they don't have options to care for their children while they return to work. DeWine has said an announcement on child care is coming soon.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Only Half Of 1.1 Million Jobless Claims Have Been Paid - Why?

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.
Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.