Ohio Unemployment Benefits Extension – 13 More Weeks?

by Mike Holman

The Ohio unemployment rate has reached a level of 10.8% as of August, 2009.  Legislation recently passed by the house (Sept 22) called Bill H3548 will allow any states with a total unemployment rate (TUR) of 8.5% or higher to be eligible for federal funding which will allow 13 more weeks of extended unemployment benefits for those people who have exhausted all the current benefits.

This move was made as part of the stimulus package for 2009 effort which is designed to help the economy recover as quickly as possible and for unemployed people to be able to keep paying the bills while they look for work.

Is this extension law yet?

Not as of Sept 23.  The senate still has to approve the bill and it is unclear how long it will take.  It is anticipated that the bill will pass Senate but it’s possible that changes will be made first.

Keep in mind that the previous extension (Extended Benefits) required state law changes since EB is a joint federal and state program. EB required a change in federal law and then required state laws to be amended.  The legislation that recently passed the House (H3548) is an extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). This does not require state law changes so it won’t require the state legislature to change state law.  This means that it should take less time to get this extension than the previous one.

How much unemployment benefits are available now?

Currently somone in Ohio might be eligible for the following:

  • 26 weeks of normal employment benefits
  • 20 weeks of Tier 1 EB
  • 13 weeks of Tier 2 EB
  • 13 weeks because of Bill H3548 (not finalized yet).

How much are the unemployment benefits?

In Ohio the maximum benefits are $503 per week and the minimum is $105 per week.  There is also an additional $25 per week available because of the 2009 stimulus package.

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