unemployment compensation

A closed sign is posted at Pins Mechanical duckpin bowling alley and bar in downtown Columbus.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

For unemployed Ohioans, the additional $600 weekly federal payment added to their benefits expired on Saturday. Congress hasn’t passed a new coronavirus relief package, and local jobless residents worry they won’t be able to make ends meet. 

Merry Collins lost her job as a home health aide in Dallas after the coronavirus outbreak hit. Before she started getting $600 a week in extra federal unemployment benefits, she got behind on the rent. And in June her landlord took her to court to evict her.

"The first day the courts opened here in Dallas," she says, "that's when they filed for eviction."

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Republican senators and the White House have reached an agreement on major elements of an upcoming coronavirus aid bill but have yet to settle on how to address unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of this month.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced late Thursday afternoon that the administration is reviewing the "agreement in principle" and the legislation will be introduced next week.

For Lorena Schneehagen, the additional $600 unemployment payment each week during the coronavirus pandemic has held her family's expenses together.

She's an out-of-work preschool teacher in Ann Arbor, Mich., whose son is about to start college.

"I need that to help pay his tuition," Schneehagen said. "And for food and just to pay the general bills."

A closed sign is posted at Pins Mechanical duckpin bowling alley and bar in downtown Columbus.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

An extra 20 weeks of unemployment compensation will be made available to eligible Ohioans once they have exhausted their other benefits.

A sign in the window of Trattoria Roma in Grandview on May 14, 2020.
David Holm / WOSU

A collection of health and human services advocates are urging Ohio leaders to immediately work on revamping the unemployment compensation system in order to avoid another backlog of claims.

Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) at a press conference with other Ohio House Democrats in 2019.
Ohio House

An Ohio bill would have allowed an extension of benefits to unemployed Ohioans who are at-risk or have medical conditions that could be deadly if they contract COVID-19. The sponsor of that legislation says it's not necessary now that Gov. Mike DeWine issued an executive order.

Ohio Senate president Larry Obhof is defending income tax cuts in their version of the budget, which must be finalized by this weekend.
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

The fund that Ohio uses to pay jobless benefits is now broke – a fate that was predicted even before the coronavirus pandemic. Now, state leaders are struggling with how to pay back the money being borrowed to keep those unemployment checks coming.

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

Ohio's unemployment compensation fund is officially broke, and the state has asked the federal government to borrow $3.1 billion so payments can keep going out to out-of-work residents.

David Holm / WOSU Public Media

When businesses reopen in Ohio, customers and clients won’t be required by the state to wear masks or facial coverings. But with a few exceptions, the state is mandating employees to wear them, along with observing social distancing and cleaning and sanitizing spaces. 

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted at the Opportunity Zones Showcase in Columbus, where he unveiled the marketing platform for opportunity zones to share details on places and projects available for investment.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

State officials say they are putting every resource they have into ramping up Ohio's unemployment compensation website, which has been crashing due to the massive influx in requests.

Updated on April 6 at 9:37 1.m. ET

A record 10 million people filed for initial unemployment benefits in the past two weeks, with many more anticipated in coming weeks. All this has put a huge strain on state employment agencies, so experts say persistence is key to getting those benefits.

Updated at 10:13 a.m. ET

New claims for unemployment benefits climbed to 281,000 last week as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered businesses and left people out of work, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the highest level since Sept. 2, 2017, when they totaled 299,000.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at his daily COVID-19 press conference at the Ohio Statehouse on Friday, March 13, 2020.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Gov. Mike DeWine has closed all the state's bars and dine-in restaurants until further notice, starting at 9 p.m. Sunday. Restaurants will still be allowed to stay open for carry out and delivery.

Rep. Smith speaks during Ohio House session on April 11, 2018.
Ohio House

The Ohio General Assembly is on summer break after a flurry of activity that included passage of dozens of bills, many sent to the governor, and a few key proposals left in limbo.

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