Losing a job can lead to a financial crisis for the average worker. If you lose your job to no fault of your own, unemployment insurance could reduce financial strain while you look for a new job. Unemployment benefits can help you pay for your groceries, mortgage or rent, and other living expenses while you’re in between jobs.
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, an employee must become unemployed through no fault of his or her own, such as due to a business closing, layoff, or job restructuring. Furthermore, an employee must have completed at least 20 weeks of employment with an employer or employers who have contributed to unemployment during the base period. The base period is defined as the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. You also must have earned a minimum average weekly wage, the amount of which changes each year.
To qualify for unemployment benefits, you must be totally or partially unemployed at the time of application. You are considered partially unemployed if your employer reduces your work hours and you earn less than the weekly unemployment benefit amount. Bear in mind that you won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits if you left your job voluntarily or were fired because of your own willful misconduct. You also won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits if you are self-employed.
It’s best to file an unemployment compensation claim with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) as soon as you lose your job. You can file your application online or by telephone. Based on the information provided by you and your former employer, ODJFS will make a decision regarding your application.
If you’re denied unemployment compensation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t entitled to benefits. You can file an appeal and continue to file claims for any weeks that you are unemployed. You must file an appeal within 21 calendar days of the date the initial determination was issued.
If you disagree with the redetermination of your initial appeal, you can file a written appeal within 21 calendar days of the date the redetermination was issued. Your case will then be scheduled for an in-person or telephone hearing. Types of information that you should bring to a hearing include the following:
It’s ideal to have a lawyer who is familiar with Ohio’s unemployment compensation laws representing you, if possible. A lawyer can help you present your best evidence and maximize the chances of winning your claim. Unemployment benefits could be the lifeline that you and your family need to make it through a rough patch, but it’s up to you to pursue them.
If you need legal help with an unemployment compensation claim, contact the experienced employment lawyers at Jones Law Group in Columbus, Ohio. We provide knowledgeable, ethical, and aggressive representation on behalf of our clients. Call (614) 545-9998 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with our team.
Eric Jones is very patient and down to earth and unlike any attorney I have ever met.