State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) highlights a new program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), an initiative that allows certain individuals who did not qualify for state unemployment to apply for benefits. PUA covers many more categories of workers and will help expand unemployment coverage to those who have yet to receive it.
“Businesses across Ohio have had to make serious sacrifices in furloughing workers, or in some very unfortunate cases, laying them off altogether,” said Ghanbari. “Many people are struggling to make ends meet and with our state system having nearly 1 million filing for unemployment – the PUA is an opportune moment for those who are unemployed to apply.”
In order to be eligible, individuals cannot qualify in receiving regular unemployment benefits and must meet one of the following circumstances:
• The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms and is
seeking medical diagnosis;
• A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
• The individual is providing care for a family member or member of the household who
has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
• A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving
responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility is closed as a direct result of
the COVID-19 emergency, and the school or care is required for the individual to work;
• The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a COVID-19
• The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because a health care
professional has advised him or her to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
• The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is
unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19;
• The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the
head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
• The individual has quit his/her job as a direct result of COVID-19;
• The individual was laid off by his/her employer as a direct result of COVID-19; or
• The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
PUA provides up to 39 weeks of benefits for those who are not qualified for regular unemployment benefits – this includes self-employed and part-time workers, 1099 tax filers, and those lacking enough sufficient work history. Additionally, the program is retroactive for those eligible to the qualification date, however, no earlier than Feb. 2. If an individual has exhausted their current unemployment benefits they can still apply for PUA.
To pre-register for PUA, please visit https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/ to get started.