OHIO VALLEY — For the week ending April 4, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 226,007 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Department of Labor, which is the second straight week that more than 200,000 new claims were filed by Ohioans.
The number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last three weeks stands at 696,519. To put that in perspective, 364,603 initial jobless claims were filed during the entire year in 2019. Over these last three weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $124 million in unemployment compensation payments to more than 195,000 claimants.
ODJFS urges individuals to file their claims online, if possible, at unemployment.ohio.gov. The department says each claim is important to it and the agency recognizes the hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on many Ohio families.
“We are hiring more people, working longer hours, and adding more technological capacity so that we can serve Ohioans as quickly as possible. We have extended our call center to a seven-day-a-week operation and by the end of this week we will have close to 1,000 staff taking calls,” said the department in a news release.
All eligible Ohioans will receive their unemployment benefits, said the release, and any delays in processing their claims will not reduce the amount received.
Coroavirus-relate frequently asked question information can be found at jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm. A filing for unemployment step-by-step guide and be found at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/pdf/QuickTipsAndStepByStepGuide.pdf. New federal pandemic unemployment programs information can be found at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ocomm/pdf/CARES-ACT.pdf.
Expanded call center hours have been made for those without internet access or who need help with PIN resets. Individuals can call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.