CARES Act unemployment bonus expected to go out by end of next week

DeWine outbreak address
Posted at 2:00 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 21:08:27-04

The long-awaited CARES Act bonus for unemployment is expected to go out to Ohioans who are eligible by the end of next week, according to Ohio Department of Job and Family Services director Kim Hall.

During Governor Mike DeWine's daily news conference about COVID-19, Lt. Gov. Husted acknowledged reported issues Ohioans have had in applying for unemployment. When asked when people can begin to expect the federal bonus from the CARES Act, promised to be $600 per week in extra insurance, Husted deferred to Hall.

"Our expectation is to begin issuing those payments by the end of next week for the pandemic unemployment compensation system," she said. "Those are for those who are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits to receive an additional $600 per week on top of their original allotment."

Husted also said ODJFS and his office are still working to figure out a way to supply independently employed workers, or those who file a 10-99 tax form, with benefits and relief during the COVID-19 epidemic. Typically, freelance workers, self-employed workers and those considered "independent" do not qualify for the state's unemployment system, but Husted said he is still working on a plan to help those workers receive aid as well. As of now, that solution has not been presented, but Husted said he hopes to have more information "in the coming days."

"As of today, there are still a number of employers with a growing need for people to hire," said Husted.

He said since the page was started, the jobs page on the state's coronavirus website has seen more than 40,000 jobs posted from more than 600 employers throughout the state of Ohio. He urged those struggling with unemployment payments to look into the job postings for essential companies that may be struggling to serve people as a result of insufficient staffing.

In the meantime, Husted said, ODJFS is working to continue expanding staffing for unemployment support and increase the quality of customer service overall for those calling in search of help. Many issues people are having, he said, are tied to eligibility or an individual not having all the necessary information to complete an application for unemployment. Many claims that have been denied are a result of this missing information, like a social security number that doesn't match a current address or insufficient employer data from a person's previous job.