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What should I know about the new requirements for Unemployment Compensation?



Unemployment Compensation claimants must complete NEW work search activities on OhioMeansJobs.com by certain deadlines or risk losing benefits. These new requirements are for people who applied for unemployment after April 11, 2014.

FIRST, UC Claimants must set up an account with OhioMeansJobs. To set up an account, go to https://ohiomeansjobs.com . Then,  click on "Individuals - Get Started". Then find:OMJ-UC-iconClicking there will take you to the “OhioMeansJobs Unemployment Guide”. You must enter the OhioMeansJobs site through the Guide so that your information is sent to the Office of Unemployment.

SECOND, by the 8th week of the unemployment benefits, UC Claimants must upload a resume to OhioMeansJobs.com. When you upload your resume you need to click ‘public’ so that employers can see it.

 Third, by the 20th week of the unemployment benefits, UC Claimants must create a career profile. After you answer 60 questions, you will receive a list of jobs that match your interests.

ODJFS has created step by step guides for reach requirement. You can find these on the unemployment web site http://unemployment.ohio.gov , or call your Unemployment Processing Center for help. The telephone number is on your “New Claim Instruction Sheet.”

Some UC Claimants do NOT have to meet these requirements if the Office of Unemployment finds that you:

  1. Were laid off subject to recall within 45 days [the employer notifies unemployment],
  2. Were laid off due to a plant closing for up to 26 weeks [the employer must apply for a waiver],
  3. Are in an approved training course or unemployed while attending school, or
  4. Are a union member in good standing who is hired through a hiring hall, or
  5. Have already completed the same or similar activities within the past 12 months.

If one of those exceptions applies to your situation, then you must fill out a questionnaire for the Office of Unemployment and they will send you notice that you are not required to register with OhioMeansJobs.com.

Some other groups of UC Claimants must call an Ohio Means Jobs Center at 1-888-296-7541 to sign up for work search activities instead of registering online. Those groups are people:

  1. With a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English.
  2. With a physical or visual impairment that prevents them from using a computer.
  3. Who are legally prohibited from using a computer.

If you do not meet one of the new OhioMeansJobs.com requirements by the deadline for that activity, you can be cut off from unemployment benefits until you complete the activity!

You should check to see if you have completed the required activities by the deadlines. If not, you should complete the activity immediately! When you have completed the activity you should call your Processing Center. If you have completed the activity after the original deadline, you should also call the Processing Center so that your benefits start again from the date you completed the activity.

If you miss a deadline, you should be sent a “Notice of Eligibility Issue”. This Notice will give you a deadline to explain why your benefits should not be stopped.

You should reply to the notice by phone or faxing your Processing Center with information:

  • That you have either done the required activity, OR
  • That you have justifiable cause for failure to complete the activity, OR
  • That you are exempt or should have been waived from the requirement.

If you do not reply to the Notice within the deadline or if the Office of Unemployment does not agree with you, you will receive a Determination decision stating that your benefits will stop until that activity is completed.

If you disagree with a decision that stops your benefits, you should file an appeal right away. Instructions for how to appeal are included in the decision.

 

This article was written by Legal Aid Senior Attorney Anita Myerson and appeared in The Alert: Volume 30, Issue 3 and has been updated in May 2015 since the requirements have changed.  Click here to read a full PDF of this issue! (Please note the physical copy viewed here has not been updated with these new requirements).

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