unemployment compensation

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

President Trump on Sunday night signed a massive coronavirus relief and spending package, relenting on a measure he had called a "disgrace" days earlier.

The legislation, which combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with government funding through September 2021, was passed by large majorities in both chambers of Congress on Dec. 21 — only to see Trump blindside legislators the next day and blast the bill.

In a statement Sunday night, Trump said lawmakers will pursue some of his sought-after changes.

Updated Sunday at 8:23 a.m. ET

Jobless benefits that were expanded for millions of Americans earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic ran out on Saturday, as President Trump renewed his criticism of a recently passed $900 billion relief package that includes an extension of federal unemployment assistance.

Updated on Dec. 30 at 11:15 a.m. ET

President Trump has signed a major legislative package that includes coronavirus relief and government spending for the next fiscal year.

Just after Congress passed the bill last week — and shortly before Christmas — the president called the measure a "disgrace," in part for not having high enough direct payments to Americans, a move his own party had been against.

Updated at 11:52 p.m. ET

After months of partisan squabbling, congressional leaders have reached agreement on a nearly $900 billion coronavirus relief package.

"At long last, we have the bipartisan breakthrough the country has needed," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor Sunday evening.

"As our citizens continue battling the coronavirus this holiday season, they will not be fighting alone," he added.

A job application with a pen.
Flazingo / Flickr

Some victims of unemployment fraud in recent months are starting to worry they will be on the hook to pay taxes for money they didn’t receive.

Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services in downtown Columbus.
Ohio Public Radio

The number of Ohioans applying for unemployment claims remains high despite a slight week-over-week decrease in initial filings, according to figures released Thursday.

 This April 22, 2014, file photo shows an employment application form on a table during a job fair at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y.
Mike Groll / Associated Press

More than 1.5 million Ohioans, nearly 13% of the state’s population, have received some sort of unemployment assistance since the pandemic began last spring.

The pandemic rages on. More than 180,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday. States and cities are closing businesses. Nearly 800,000 people are applying for unemployment every week.

Despite all this, Congress has not passed an economic relief package since late April — and a set of vital relief measures helping millions of Americans avoid financial ruin and eviction are all set to expire this month.

Spiritus Tattoo, a tattoo parlor in Clintonville, is closed as a non-essential business. A sign posted on the storefront window cautions would-be criminals that all valuables have been removed.
Cindy Gaillard / WOSU

The office that oversees unemployment benefits in Ohio is adding employees to keep up with demand.

Ohio Auditor Keith Faber wants to expand the public records mediation program in the state.
Tony Dejak / AP

A new law that sends $650 million in federal CARES Act money to Ohio communities to help with pandemic-related costs also includes a potential overhaul for the process to apply for unemployment benefits.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, left, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Ohio's two U.S. senators are calling for Congress to pass more coronavirus relief measures, as President Trump goes back-and-forth on the possibility of new funds for people struggling during the pandemic.

Parents and other caregivers of children who are learning at home while schools are closed – even for part of the week – can receive weekly cash benefits, regardless of whether they would normally qualify for unemployment.

That’s according to guidance released at the end of August from the U.S. Department of Labor about who is eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The program, part of the federal government’s COVID-19 relief plan, is aimed at those affected by the virus who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. 

Updated at 8:35 a.m. ET

Kris Snyder didn't set out to be a professional musician. She began her working life as a corporate trainer for a big retail company. But after churning through seven managers in five years, she got fed up. She gave up a regular paycheck and corporate benefits and started looking for music gigs.

"Weddings, funerals, parties — that sort of thing," says Snyder, a fourth-generation harpist.

Another 881,000 people applied for state unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department says. That's 130,000 fewer than the previous week. But the report comes with an asterisk.

The department just changed the way it adjusts claims data to account for seasonal variation. That should make the reports more accurate in the weeks to come. But it also means the reported change from the previous week is not an apples-to-apples comparison.

Without the seasonal adjustment, state unemployment claims rose by more than 7,500.

Ohioans receiving unemployment benefits can expect an additional $300 weekly starting mid-to-late September. The payments will be retroactive, going back to Aug. 1.

Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) President John Baker told ideastream those additional funds are “really a lifeline” for many restaurant employees, whose industry has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. 

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